‘Twitter is where nuance goes to die, but I am hopeful for the next generation,’ says Jon Ronson.

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‘Twitter is where nuance goes to die, but I am hopeful for the next generation,’ says Jon Ronson.

The author speaks exclusively to i about his new Radio 4 series about people caught up in culture wars, the dangers of Twitter shaming, and why Piers Morgan blocked him (which he doesn’t mind).

Jon Ronson adores his wife, Elaine; he adores his son; he adores their two homes, one in New York City and the other in the Catskills, upstate New York, where he writes.

He also enjoys nuance.

He believes in it so strongly that he’s made a career out of deciphering human complexity in books, films, and podcasts.

“Clever people do stupid things, and stupid people do clever things,” the Cardiff-born writer tells me over Zoom from his rural retreat.

“We’re all nuanced, we’re all flawed,” Ronson says, later telling me a funny story about a man who insisted on paying for his eggnog last week in a petrol station when Ronson’s Apple Pay didn’t work.

He’s wearing glasses with a blue reflection that make him look like a character from a science fiction film; perhaps some kind of Lord of Nuance, if such a creature existed.

In 2015, the 54-year-old published So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, in which he met people like Justine Sacco, who made a bad-taste Twitter joke about Africa and Aids and lost her job in PR when it went viral. Throughout, he demonstrates how, in the age of what we might call “cancel culture” in 2021, people’s punishments often far outweigh their so-called crimes.

“I think I put into words something that was making people uncomfortable,” he says.

“One of the things that scared me the most was that if we thought someone was being unfairly shamed online at the time, we’d be too afraid to say anything in case everyone’s attention was then turned on to us.”

He teased out the subtle, complex, and surprising experiences of people across the porn industry in his 2017 podcast The Butterfly Effect.

He no longer showed us the good guys and bad guys; instead, he showed us people from the pornographic world who aren’t all that different from the rest of us.

You could argue, however, that Ronson’s much-loved nuance appears.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy

‘Twitter is where nuance dies, but I’m optimistic for the next generation,’ says Jon Ronson.

Jon Ronson: ‘Twitter is where nuance goes to die, but I am hopeful for the next generation’

Jon Ronson BBC Image via Jo Hawkins jo.hawkins@bbc.co.ukRead More - Featured ImageJon Ronson BBC Image via Jo Hawkins jo.hawkins@bbc.co.uk

Jon Ronson: ‘Twitter is where nuance goes to die, but I am hopeful for the next generation’

Jon Ronson BBC Image via Jo Hawkins jo.hawkins@bbc.co.ukRead More - Featured ImageJon Ronson BBC Image via Jo Hawkins jo.hawkins@bbc.co.uk

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