Owen Jones taking break from 'utterly depressing' social media due to daily attacks by 'angry strangers'

Left-wing columnist Owen Jones says he’s taking a break from “utterly depressing” social media after being hounded by trolls.

The Guardian journalist said his decision was promoted by angry strangers yelling at him “on a daily basis” in a 1,113 word heartfelt explanation posted to his Facebook page this morning.

“I wouldn’t choose to walk every day into a room full of total strangers screaming mindless abuse and making up what I think and what my motives are, but in a sense that’s what I’m currently doing,” he wrote, adding “I find myself constantly engaging with people denouncing my motives while sending abuse”.

The columnist and author says he will only be “posting articles, videos and occasional events” to his social media channels for the time being.

Mr Jones, who has over half a million followers on Twitter and 252,556 likes on Facebook, described social media as “a) totally unproductive and b) frankly just completely and utterly depressing”.

(Photo: Sky News)

He also admitted that he doesn’t even enjoy writing.

“I only wanted to do what I do to make a useful and constructive contribution to the causes I believe in,” he wrote. “I don’t even enjoy writing, I do it to champion the things I believe in with all my heart.

“It is getting to the point where I’m not sure whether I can do that, whether there’s something else I can do with my life that actually helps people.”

Vowing not to be brought down by horrible comments, he signed off with: “I’m sure there’ll be loads of comments about how self-indulgent all this is. But I won’t read them, afraid” before ending with an appeal asking people to act with humanity.

Over 2,300 people have reacted to Mr Jones’ post on Facebook, with many supportive of his comments.

The columnist – who was named as the 13th more important person on Twitter in 2013 – memorably walked out of a Sky News debate about the Orlando nightclub massacre last year after being asked whether it was a hate crime or in the name of religion.

Presenter Mark Longhurst also told him that he “cannot say this is a worse attack than what happened in Paris.”

Veteran gay right campaigner Peter Tatchell and Labour shadow ministers Caroline Flint and Diane Abbott were among those who sprang to Mr Jones’ defence.

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