JK Rowling ‘death threat’ sparks row as Twitter says it ‘hasn’t broken safety policies’

JK Rowling defended by author for open letter on free speech

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JK Rowling has reacted after being mentioned in a “JK Rowling diss track” released by a trans activist, which sparked a row on Twitter after having been construed by many social media users as a “death threat” against the author. Twitter did not uphold a complaint against the track, deeming that it did not break the social media site’s “safety policies”. The song, released by Faye Fadem, featured lyrics about “killing TERFS” [Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists] and stated: “JK I hope you fit in a hearse, b****”.

The Harry Potter author shared the music video herself on Saturday and told her 14 million followers: “I’m afraid I can’t give a shout out to everyone promising to murder me – there are so many of you, and I’m a busy woman – but this one deserves a mention for the nineties rave vibe.”

Actor James Dreyfus, best known for roles in Gimme Gimme Gimme and Notting Hill, has been a vocal defender of JK and reported the track to Twitter’s Help Centre.

However, Twitter ruled “after reviewing the information” that the song had not broken the site’s rules and would not be taken down.

James shared a screenshot of Twitter’s response along with the caption: “Surprise, surprise!

“So, death threats = Good.

“Saying ‘women are women’= Bad.

“Congratulations. You have hit rock bottom. Seek help,” he added.

Some users agreed with James and questioned why that kind of content was allowed on the site.

Lizzy said: “I reported them as well. Perhaps if enough of us do it may make a difference.”

Jozinhagirl echoed: “Why on earth is this acceptable to Twitter?”

And Beth asked: “@Twitter @Twitter Support Death threats are ok? For real?”

However, others remained critical of the author with a user named TheRealR01 writing: “I’m sorry people are threatening your life for any reason. That’s not ok. That said, you must realise how the things you say and do can be hurtful to people, especially people who were once some of your biggest fans. You can maintain your point of view without breaking hearts.”

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While a user named Oatmeal pointed out: “I guess it’s cause there’s a pretty clear difference between a hyperbolic statement and a credible death threat?”

And SlauHaus said: “Doesn’t exactly look serious to me, while this looks very serious,” and shared a screenshot of a 2020 essay written by JK in defence of her comments which were accused of transphobia.

The excerpt of the essay read: “So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.

“When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

Her essay was composed in response to furore surrounding the author’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”.

She shared an article in June 2020 headlined: “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

To which JK tweeted: “’People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.

“Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Express.co.uk has contacted Twitter for comment.

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