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Social media is a gift for people who want to behave maliciously

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JK Rowling arrives for the world premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (Ian West/PA)

JK Rowling has described social media as “a gift for people who want to behave maliciously”, after facing online threats.

Police began investigating earlier this month after the Harry Potter author, 57, received a threatening message on Twitter when she posted her support for Sir Salman Rushdie.

She shared screenshots of a post from a user who wrote “don’t worry you’re next” in response to her tweet about the Indian-born British-American author, who had been stabbed on stage in upstate New York.

Speaking to Graham Norton on Virgin Radio UK, Rowling asked if there was anything she could do to defuse the intensity of the online conflict.

She said: “I think on some level I’m not sure I can. I’m not sure an individual can do that. I try to behave online as I would like others to behave.

“I would never… I’ve never threatened anyone obviously and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone going to their house or anything like that.”

“Social media can be a lot of fun and I love the pitch aspect of advertising. It can be a fun thing to do. But there is no doubt that social media is a gift for people who want to behave maliciously. »

Rowling, who has been criticized for her views on transgender people and biological sex, has previously said she has faced threats from activists on social media.

Last year, her address was posted online by activists who posed outside her home with “Trans liberation now” signs.

Speaking about her use of social media, Rowling said: “I actually took, I think, a whole year on Twitter, or quite a while, and then when Covid hit…

I try to behave online as I would like others to behave

JK Rowling

“I actually didn’t go back to the fight stuff in the pubs. I went back because I wanted to do The Ickabog – so it was a children’s book for those who don’t know. And so I wanted to post it for free and Twitter was a really good (place to do that).

“So I came back with the intention of doing The Ickabog and I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it now.

“I can happily go a few days without getting into a pub fight.”

Rowling was featured in a recent Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special, but only in archival music videos.

She told Norton that she declined the offer to appear because the program focused on the movies, not the books.

She said: ‘I was asked to be on it and decided I didn’t want to do it. It was more about movies than books.

“Rightly so, that was what it was about. I was asked to do it and I decided not to.

Rowling’s views on transgender issues have drawn criticism from some of Potter’s stars, including Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe.

When asked if she had spoken to any of the actors, she replied: “Yeah, I do. Some more than others but that’s always been the case. Some I knew better than some. others.