Lisa Graves

My part in Godfrey Elfwick’s downfall

Godfrey Elfwick was a reassuring presence on Twitter. The parody account of the right-on hipster was the perfect antidote to the online mob who shout down those who don’t sign up to the prevailing groupthink. But now, Elfwick is gone: banned from Twitter after a petty spat. It’s a big loss – and for those increasingly fed up with the factionalism on the site, another reason to wonder whether continuing to use Twitter is really worth it.

So who was Elfwick? For his fans – and there were plenty of them – the self-defined demi-sexual genderqueer Muslim atheist was at his best when people fell into the trap of believing that he was real. Perhaps his crowning moment was when the BBC did just that: interviewing him on the World Service, in character, accusing Star Wars of being homophobic and claiming that the whole film series – which he admitted that he hadn’t even seen – was ‘unbelievably racist’. The hapless BBC producer who booked Elfwick to appear on the radio wasn’t alone in failing to spot the joke about Elfwick though:

It was no surprise that Elfwick soon gained notoriety; he quickly became a parody of the far-left ultra PC conscious subculture which has insidiously sprung up all over the place. Elfwick’s take on the topics of the day was often difficult to distinguish from the online virtue signallers who like to display their good will, even if, in reality, it counts for little:

It wasn’t only those on Twitter who were parodied by Elfwick: his character also showed up some of those in the media who are prone to react irrationally:

Elfwick’s latest departure – albeit now, sadly, permanent – is not the first time he left Twitter behind.

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