Katie Hopkins – Why bother? Internet villains don’t like apathy.

There are many people who will make posts to garner a reaction on the internet.  Go to any social media or forum and you’ll find them.

There are some people who make a career out of such behaviour and every so often come to the notice of the mainstream press.

The pantomime villain can be big business and whilst one or two of them will come to notice when they go too far, the majority of them play to small audiences.

Katie Hopkins is not one of these.  She has made quite a brand on the back of statements which people react to.  She will continue to push this line whilst there are people to give her reactions.  It matters not if the reaction is challenging her or insulting her, its all good material and it will be used to further her role as “villain”.

Katie Hopkins tweets scathing attack of ‘chubsters’ defacing Protein World ‘Beach Body Ready’ ads

Source: The Drum

Whether Katie really holds these views or not, doesn’t matter, her brand is her brand and whilst it seems there are those that enjoy watching Katie make these remarks, the ones that don’t, continue to feed her campaign by posting responses to her.

What is interesting is that supporters of Katie and perhaps Katie herself would be very quick to remind people is “freedom of speech” but under the same token, people also have the freedom to challenge companies and their marketing campaigns.   Unfortunately some of the protests about Protein World have involved criminal damage (which should NEVER be an answer) and in doing so have given Katie even more power in which to make her living.

Would Richard Dawkins have the audience he does if he didn’t make remarks which brought him to the attention of the mainstream?  I’d say no.  He’s an atheist who has sold books on the back of a God he doesn’t believe in.  That is all.  Both him and Katie are two examples and they are rather simple creations.  A little like a burger, its pretty easy to guess what is contained therein.

You can’t insult Katie.  Any insult is a badge of honour to show that she is doing her job.  You can’t challenge her because she will look for ways to try and make even more comments on the back of a challenge.

The best way to tackle the behaviour of people like Katie is apathy.  Take away the feedback and you take away her brand.

LBC saw fit to put her on the radio which is their decision, but do you think she would have been given the job if people had merely given her no interest?  There are some who think Katie Hopkins speaks for them, but again, take away the challenges and complaints on Twitter and she will soon find out that having merely an account where everyone pats her on the back is no brand at all.

Katie doesn’t offend me in the slightest, I’d only have issue with Katie’s posts if they started appearing in my timeline, in the same way that I despise advertising. Her text holds no power other than being an interruption to the things online that I do find important.  Before Katie discovered computers, many of us “geeks” were on line with BBS’s, in those days you had similar people, its only that now the mainstream have decided that computing is useful that people like Katie are able to create a brand out of the same things.

It is important for people like Katie to have their freedom of speech.  They would be very quick to play the martyr angle if it is removed.  They can continue to post until either people walk away or they cross a line which has them breaking a law – given enough time they will.  The internet villain will continue to push for a reaction and if none is forthcoming will continue to push until they get response.  Leaving these people to it and trusting that the authorities monitor them will mean that if they don’t give up their brand, they will fall foul of the law.

When you look online its not just the internet villain using it to create brands.  You have some very strange conspiracy theories, alien claims and all manner of things using the net to create themselves a brand identity.   There are many people desperate to buy into something and for Katie, her posts act as a launchpad for offers from other outlets.

Anyone can go online and write outrageous statements, its just about the easiest thing you can do.  The “lucky” ones will make a career out of it and the “unlucky” ones will stew in a pool of a small group of follows.  Who cares?  You need not let it have a bearing on your life, because for every time it does, its a victory and meal ticket for those that do it.

Best way to counter Katie Hopkins? Apathy.  Quite simple.   Celebrate her right to free speech and be apathetic to what she says.  That is a far more powerful tool than outrage.


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