Activist Jack Monroe quits Twitter ‘for good of mental health’

The food blogger and campaigner has said she experiences bulling on Twitter ‘every day’.
The food blogger and campaigner has said she experiences bulling on Twitter ‘every day’. The food blogger and campaigner has said she experiences bulling on Twitter ‘every day’.

Food writer and activist Jack Monroe is quitting Twitter “for the good of my mental health” after being trolled online.

Monroe, who identifies as non-binary and is a campaigner for poverty issues and trans and women’s rights, said she would continue to support these causes but away from the “gaslighting, coercion and bullying” she said she had faced on Twitter.

Monroe tweeted to her 124,000 followers that it was “with a heavy heart and a weighty self-loathing” that she had decided to leave the social media site “for my mental and physical health”.

Monroe said that, having been warned early on in her career “not to come out as gay”, she did it anyway.

She said that coming out as “non-binary (genderfluid/queer)” lost her a £30k book deal and “invited a whole world of abuse from across the political and feminist spectrum”.

Monroe said she had spent the last two years defending women’s rights and trans rights, but that her bid to “educate, inform, support and explain” had been at a “great personal and emotional cost”.

“I get things wrong, I do my best and I can only speak for myself,” she said, adding that she gets “viciously pilloried on a daily basis, piled on, inundated with people who scream in their dozens about free speech while freely speaking at me that I am an atrocious person for daring to want to push outside of my ‘little woman’ box.”

Monroe said the core of her work had been “buried under the endless and exhausting bollocks of flamethrowing on social media”.

“Most of the people who genuinely need my work don’t have the luxury of concerning themselves with my tits or chromosomes,” she said, writing that they did not need to see her “tiresomely drawn into fight after fight after fight”.

She said: “Every minute I spend on justifying my clothing choices or crying because 50 people are dogpiling me with personal insults is a minute I am not spending doing my most important work.”

Monroe said she would always be “a genderqueer androgynous little dyke”, but that she was coming off Twitter to preserve her mental health.

Monroe continued: “I have been in enough abusive relationships to recognise gaslighting, coercion and bullying, and my personal relationships are suffering as a result of what I experience on here every day.”

Monroe said she would return to the kitchen and fight for women’s, trans and human rights, but that Twitter “is not the best place for me to do it”.

Monroe came to prominence in 2012 with her food blog A Girl Called Jack, now named Cooking on a Bootstrap.

Jack Monroe
Jack Monroe Jack Monroe (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She also wrote for publications including Essex newspaper The Echo and later The Huffington Post and The Guardian on topics including politics, poverty and cooking on a budget.

Last year, she abandoned her bid to win a seat in the House of Commons after receiving hate mail and suffering a deterioration in her health.

Monroe was also involved in a high-profile court case with Katie Hopkins, who had accused her of vandalising a war memorial.

Outspoken former Apprentice star Hopkins was ordered by a High Court judge to pay £24,000 damages to Monroe at the conclusion of the case dubbed “Twibel” by media pundits.