Ed Sheeran says he’s quit Twitter after receiving a stream of abuse.
“I’ve actually come off Twitter completely,” he told The Sun. “I can’t read it. “I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.”
The star, who has 19 million followers, says he’ll keep the account open, but it will only share automatic updates from his Instagram page from now on. A quick scan of Twitter finds a number of negative – although not necessarily abusive – comments directed towards the 26-year-old.
“Irritating ginger busker” is a particularly common insult; while the song Galway Girl has provoked a torrent of anger. Revolting, fudged cultural appropriation,” wrote David N about the jaunty jig, in which Sheeran describes falling for a girl who “played the fiddle in an Irish band”.
Another user described it as “awful ‘diddly-eye leprachaun'” music, full of “stereotypical nonsense”.
Richard Roche had some helpful advice regarding the lyrics, which he described as: “Full of geographical inaccuracies (there’s no pub on Grafton St).” Most recently, Sheeran had to defend himself against accusations of using a backing track during his headline set at Glastonbury.
Other users took aim at Sheeran’s televised Glastonbury show after he suffered guitar problems during the song Bloodstream. “Ed Sheeran come to my house and I will show you how to tune a guitar you useless mess,” wrote one. Speaking to The Sun, Sheeran said he had “been trying to work out why people dislike me so much” but the simple answer is that he’s the victim of his own success.
His third album ÷ (Divide) is the year’s biggest-seller, dominating the charts and radio around the world. In the UK, every song on the record made the top 20 of the singles chart, while the lead single, Shape Of You, spent 14 weeks at number one.
That sort of ubiquity draws out the more mean-spirited and aggressive users of Twitter – which has gained a reputation for harbouring trolls.
Stars including Miley Cyrus, Sue Perkins, Stephen Fry, Halsey and Avengers director Joss Whedon have all quit the site after receiving abuse.
And last year, Bloomberg reported that Disney chose not to pursue an acquisition of the social media network in part because it thought the bullying behaviour of some users might damage the film company’s image.
Twitter has since taken action to combat abuse – giving users better tools to mute or block trolls.