Rufus Hound, a man hitherto best known as a figure on the fringes of mainstream British comedy, last night attracted the ire of the Twittersphere by appearing to support a conspiracy theory about the Manchester terrorist attack.
First he retweeted a coment from a user that said: 'Given that the attacker was known to MI5, the timing seems fortunate for [Prime Minister Theresa] May that an attack "slips through" as Labour are making progress…'
He then followed that up by tweeting himself: 'Sorry for the mild tinhattedness, but I've been thinking the same. Esp. as she Home Secretary for so long. #reichstagFire'.
When his 1.21 million followers pointed out that was wading into '9/11 was an inside job' territory and – more importantly – showing a lack of sensitivity for the victims of the country's worst terror attack for a decade Hound embarked on the traditional flurried mea culpa, without entirely retracting the claim.
The lesson here is a now old but no less salient one. Think before you tweet. Or in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy that is still being played out, perhaps just don't tweet at all.