I got death threats for saying I don’t like Adele
WHEN it comes to dramatic revelations, I didn’t find this admission particularly controversial.
As I write this column, I have admitted to being vain, dirty, and a bad friend.
I’ve told the world about my divorce, my bumps in pregnancy, and my fake orgasms.
But when I dared to talk about it (shock, horror) I didn’t really understand why Adele was so popular it turned out to be the online equivalent of writing a giant “hit me” sign on my back.
I woke up to hundreds of comments on my social media this Sunday.
Many of them were positive – “Thank god someone finally said it!” or “I thought I was the only one!” – which makes me wonder if I should start some kind of dislikes Adele support group, a non-fan club if you will.
But most of them were a barrage of hate and insults aimed not just at me but at anyone who dared agree with me in the comments.
Turns out, hell has no rage like a despised Adele fan.
They tore my looks apart (“You look like raw salmon in that pink suit” was the most memorable), insulted my writing skills (“Go back to journalism school”) and criticized my character (“You’re a jealous bitch, plain and simple !”).
Some even threatened violence or told me to kill myself.
I was shocked that I had stirred up so much trouble by voicing what I considered to be a light-hearted if unpopular opinion.
The irony of the fact that they hated me because I hated Adele wasn’t lost on me.
I tried to shrug it off, “don’t feed the trolls,” and avoided social media for the rest of the day.
But a feeling of uneasiness stayed with me. I thought it was an occupational hazard until I read a recent survey that showed that it’s not just magazine columnists who are at risk of abusive accumulation.
The survey, conducted by research firm Ipsos in conjunction with King’s College London, found that three in ten of us have experienced online harm or abuse, with women much more likely to experience online harassment.
What’s really scary is that the survey found that younger generations are more likely to view online abuse as acceptable, presumably because they grew up on the internet and never knew anything else.
I’m pretty sure none of the people who wrote nasty comments on my Instagram and Twitter actually wished me ill.
I also doubt they would ever dream of saying those things to my face. There’s just something about the internet’s unfettered free speech that makes us feel like we’re entitled to #nofilter our darkest and most hurtful views.
But whether it’s a teenage girl being bullied on TikTok or an MP who tweeted threats of rape, it’s time we all took online abuse more seriously.
When tech companies and governments shrug their shoulders at this, they help normalize abuse offline as well.
The response to my column has shown me how iconic Adele’s fans can be.
Not even the cancellation of their Vegas residency, which left many of them out of pocket and upset, dented their immense popularity in the long run.
So, while I haven’t personally drunk Adele Kool-Aid (it probably tastes like Whispering Angel, her favorite wine), I learned a lot from my exposure to online cyberbullyers.
It made me realize that we all need to think about the real person behind the online profile. Including me.
● Follow Kate on Instagram @katewillswrites.
This week I am…
Founded by Ukrainian chef Olia Hercules, these fundraising supper clubs are a small way to make your contribution.
Read… A very nice girl
I loved Imogen Crimp’s debut novel about sex, money and complicated relationships.
Loving… Solo Stove
This portable, smoke-free fire pit is perfect for camping trips—or just toasting marshmallows in the backyard.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/17962165/adele-death-threats-kate-wills/ I got death threats for saying I don’t like Adele