J.K. Rowling—beloved writer, human woman, actual advocate for social justice—made an enemy of a British politician yesterday for an incredibly odd reason: the politician thought that Rowling tweeted words of support at an Internet troll for his misogynistic comments. In fact, she didn't. The Internet: it's a weird place.
Apparently, Natalie McGarry—a member of British parliament who, by the way, is also currently experiencing a potentially career-ending scandal that doesn't have anything to do with insulting the creator of Harry Potter—thought that Rowling was BFFs with some random non-famous dude on the Internet named Brian Spanner, a man who apparently once said something sexist. "Huh, that doesn't make a lot of sense," you're thinking right now, correctly.
Eventually, according to BuzzFeed, McGarry sent this screenshot to Rowling with the caption "This guy, the one you chat regularly, nice guy":
So Rowling said this:
And soon after McGarry apologized.
Dumb Twitter fight ended? Not at all! At this point, another Twitter user stepped in to defend McGarry, and the politician unwisely retweeted him:
Rowling pointed out to Ferrier and McGarry that those screenshots were manipulated to make it appear like she was responding to a crude comment. In fact, she was responding to a tweet Spanner made saying that he had donated to Rowling's charity.
(It's also important to note here that Spanner's Twitter feed is not exactly a total cesspool of misogyny, at least from a quick glance—there is, for instance, a transphobic insult, but that's buried under mountains of jokes about weird Scottish things only Scottish people understand. Also, keep in mind that the word "c*nt" is considerably less offensive in Great Britain. It is, in other words, completely understandable that J.K. Rowling would tweet a word of thanks at this completely random person without vetting his entire timeline.)
Anyway, at this point Rowling threatened to sue:
That was enough to make McGarry set her Twitter page to private; Ferrier, for his part, apologized. Believe it or not, one of the richest authors in the world came out on top again!