I am intrigued as to how celebrities use Twitter. Do they get a special version or do they have to filter through all the detritus themselves. Every time a celebrity tweets there is an instant deluge of responses from people asking for something: a retweet (seemingly of the question ‘can I have a RT please?’), to follow them (without any reason – why would you be interested in reading the tweets of someone for whom the sole activity you are aware of is them asking you to follow them on Twitter; it is the social media version of walking up to a famous person in a public place and asking them to be your friend) or asking something like will they wish them/their child a happy birthday.
Recently the CBeebies presenter Cloud Tunes, presenter of Cloud Tunes Fun Clouds and Merridly Magic Maurice’s Mask of Merry, announced that he had been seriously injured via his Twitter account (@CloudTunescbbc). It was stood out massively from Cloud’s general content, sample tweets: ‘Mondays make me smile. Do you like Mondays?’ and ‘The sun has his hat on today – do you have a hat on?’.
The content of the tweet from Cloud Tunes this time was simple: ‘Phone stuck on Twitter. Grg accdnt, losing blood heavily. Pls snd hlep urgntly. #999’ However despite 14,000 retweets and 700 replies no-one sent any help and Tunes was found dead three days later. The 700s replies were predominantly from adults aged 23-34 asking for Cloud to say happy birthday to their children. There was also a number of requests from people seeking sponsorship for a short run they were doing in early summer. The remainder were complaints about a cloud music platform erroneously sent the TV clown’s way. There were also 29 telling him he was a cunt because he was on TV.
The sad tale of Cloud Tunes serves as evidence to those who claim social media isn’t necessarily joining people in a real sense and that it’s just mainly people talking shit and taking pictures of themselves (and looking at pictures of other people). Doctors suggest that if anyone had responded to Tunes’ tweet for help within a few hours then he probably would have survived.
Footnote: A parody Twitter account, @DeadCloudTunesCBBC was set up three days after the death and had 1.7 million followers within a week. The account, which takes old tweets from Cloud Tunes and adds the hashtags #dead #ghost, has been purchased by Sony Entertainment for a fee believed to be $11 million. There were no further tweets after the first week but the account gained a further 7 million followers in the next month. Jonathon Ross and Piers Morgan have both endorsed the account as the most lovable parody account of a dead children’s television clown on Twitter.