This article was published on December 24, 2015

The best Twitter tech spats of 2015

The best Twitter tech spats of 2015
Kirsty Styles
Story by

Kirsty Styles


Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

What modern Christmas would be complete without someone curating the year’s sum of human unkindness and misunderstanding into one handy reference list?

Early this year, UK author Jon Ronson released his book ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,’ which delved deep into the world of online shaming, and where he took a particular look at the woman of#HasJustineLandedYet fame, Justine Sacco.

Remember that 100,000-strong angry Twitter crowd of 2013? “We are about to watch this @JustineSacco bitch get fired. In REAL time. Before she even KNOWS she’s getting fired,” one gleeful onlooker said.

She actually worked for IAC, owners of OKCupid, Tinder and Match, and it took her a year to wipe the spit off the back of her computer monitor and find a new job. Some say, it’s ok: “Her dad is a billionaire.”

He’s not.

Ronson has just added a new chapter to his book, which he’s kindly offered to bring around and stick into each paperback copy that has already been sold.

In it he details some of the Twittercism he’s faced since he started chronicling the lives of people who have fallen victim to the crowd.

This year, for example, he extended some kindness to Rachel Dolezal, the woman who presented herself as black and won a position at her local NAACP chapter, though she was born a white woman. Then he said he had to quit Twitter.

But we wouldn’t have a top Twitter spat list like if everyone was kind or quiet this year!

So, 2015’s top Twitter troll was, hands down, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who this year turned his online offence level up to ‘the whole of the Muslim world’, as well as forging an alliance with the UK’s leading rentagob Katie Hopkins.

But to be fair, 2015 feels slightly more civilised. Have we finally realized the whole world can see what we’re tweeting?

Trump vs CEO of T-Mobile: Shut up and do better things away from me

Tinder vs Vanity Fair: Uhh did we say we make people fall in love?

Vanity Fair wrote ‘Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse,’ then there was the Tinder Twitter apocalypse.

This ended up being 20 messages in just four minutes. Tinder would not be getting a second date!

Uber vs NYC Mayor: Just gimme a break!

Uber’s Travis Kalanick has cooled it down since his company really hit the big time and the service has started to get flack from all corners of the planet. So he’s been a little more covert in his social media quarrels with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

It’s no Kalanick of old, but here’s a series of things he retweeted in one week in July. There’s something to be said when people are doing your PR for you.

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But obvs, even a CEO has to wade in sometimes…

Elon Musk vs Jeff Bezos: My rocket is bigger than your rocket


Hillary vs Jeb: Interns flex Photoshop skillz

Ahh @SamDavisBoyHero, what would we do without public vigilantes like you?

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