A SCOTTISH shop worker who attacked JK Rowling over her support for the No campaign in the independence referendum has revealed that he was forced to shut down his account over abuse from her fans.
Jamie McGilchrist, 22, was branded “moronic”, “a total fool”, a “little s***” and worse, at one point receiving up to nine abusive messages a minute. SNP-supporting Mr McGilchrist, from Edinburgh, had criticised Rowling for using her book profits to donate £1 million to the No campaign, and suggested her novels be publicly burned.
Fans responded by hitting him with around 500 abusive messages in a few hours.
Mr McGilchrist admitted the extent of the “counter-trolling” had forced him to shut his account. But he said he stood by his views – and accused Rowling of hypocrisy for not reigning in her followers.
Mr McGilchrist, who works at a clothes store on George Street, tweeted Rowling on Sunday saying she should not have donated £1m to the No campaign ahead of last year’s referendum because the money came from her Potter profits. Rowling hit back: “So true. When I worked in an office, I always made sure I spent my earnings only at shops the boss had pre-approved.”
Rather than retreat, Mr McGilchrist then suggested her books should be burned in public. Rowling joked: “Book burnings! I’ll bring marshmallows.”
Outraged Rowling fans attacked Mr McGilchrist in their hundreds over the following hours, calling him arrogant, moronic, idiotic, narrow-minded and more.
Putting on a brave face yesterday, Mr McGilchrist said: “There is a bit of hypocrisy going on here. Rowling says she doesn’t like it when people slate her online but I was just voicing my opinion and she said nothing to calm her followers down when they all attacked me.
“I was just airing an opinion and wasn’t saying anything too bad, but I got a load of abuse from people. I wish she would have an actual conversation rather than just tweeting a single opinion.”
When asked if he shut down his Twitter account because of the comments from fans, he said: “Yes, there were loads.”
Rowling recently thanked Twitter users for support after she became a target for abuse in the wake of the general election result. She said her “personal line had been crossed” by some comments, which she had tried to ignore for weeks.