Sheeran latest star to quit Twitter over abuse

The multi-platinum selling singer songwriter, Ed Sheeran, has become the latest celebrity to turn his back on Twitter, claiming that the social network has become a 'platform' for abuse.

Ed Sheeran performing at the 2017 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Getty Images
Ed Sheeran performing at the 2017 Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Getty Images

The 26-year-old said he has stopped engaging with genuine fans on the site for fear of having his day “ruined” by people intent on insulting him.

The singer, who earlier this year released the fastest selling album by a male artist in UK chart history, has retained his account on the site, but uses it only to announce tour dates and relay automatic updates from the photo-sharing site, Instagram.

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Sheeran is one of several A-list stars who have stopped using Twitter, at least temporarily, due to online abuse, a list which includes the likes of Stephen Fry, Adele, Kanye West, and Sam Smith.

Sheeran said he had found comments from people so hurtful that he could not face reading and replying to other users.

He explained: “I’ve actually come off Twitter completely, I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things – Twitter’s a platform for that. One comment ruins your day, but that’s why I’ve come off it.”

“The head-f*** for me has been trying to work out why people dislike me so much.”

Sheeran said that he relied on his family and friends to keep him grounded, adding: “I have people like my dad who will have a conversation with me. I don’t have to have someone calling me a whatever.”

Sheeran said that a particular low point had come after a misunderstanding involving the fans of the US singer, Lady Gaga, who thought that he had criticised her in an interview about musicians whose careers took a downturn after their first two albums.

He said: “Lady Gaga’s fanbase read an interview in which they assumed I was talking about her and they all f***ing hate me. And it wasn’t anything to do with that at all.

“So I think Twitter gets on a massive steam roll of assuming things and then you get in the shit.”

Only last month, the singer played a headline slot at the Glastonbury festival, one of the highlights of his career to date.

But the occasion was soured by commentators who accused of him of performing to a backing track. In return, Sheeran wrote on Twitter: “Never thought I’d have to explain it, but everything I do in my live show is live, it’s a loop station, not a backing track. Please google x.

A spokesman for Twitter said it did not comment on individual accounts for “privacy and security reasons,” but cited several “major changes” to the platform in recent months designed to improve safety.

They include updates which limits the functionality of users who engage in abusive behaviour, new filtering options which helps prevent users from seeing offensive content, and increased transparency about Twitter’s reporting process for harassment.