Dom Joly Q&A

As his exclusive clips for Microsoft Bing go live today, comedian and journalist Dom Joly shares his thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and online trolls.

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Best known for fooling the nation, award-winning comedian Dom Joly first hit the small screen back in 2000 with Trigger Happy TV.

Now he's back with a prime-time TV show Fool Britannia as well as exclusive webisodes (online episodes…obviously) to promote the use of search engine Microsoft Bing.

And with that in mind, we thought it would be the opportune moment to ask Dom about his online habits.

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How much time do you spend online a day?
I’d say 9-5. The worst is Twitter because it’s such a great distraction, and as a writer you’re constantly looking to be distracted.

Which websites do you visit the most?
The Independent, BBC and The Daily Beast. I’m also a little bit addicted to Amazon.

What do you love about Twitter?
It’s weird because I get all sorts of nutters, but at the same time it’s really useful because I also have the wisdom of crowds. So for instance when I travel I can ask 165,000 complete strangers for recommendations. Once when I was in the Dominican Republic, a guy tweeted me saying ‘I’m a photographer here, if you want I’ll take you around town.’ For all I know he could have been an axe murderer, but I met up with him anyway. I actually had a brilliant time.

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Who are your favourite people on Twitter?
I don’t normally follow people I hate because of the urge to send them abusive tweets, but I just love Sarah Palin. Unwittingly, everything she writes just makes me laugh. Caitlin Moran is a genius and what twitter was made for. I also love Simon Day from The Fast Show, he’s very funny and obscure. Piers Morgan is tricky because although he is entertaining I hate myself for reading it – it’s like a nasty habit. I think honesty is the best thing on Twitter. The only problem is I tend to drunk-tweet which is not good.

What are your thoughts on Facebook?
I started on Facebook and was really interactive on it, but then when I reached 5,000 friends they told me that that was the limit and I’d have to start a fan page instead. It was a shame as I had spent the last three years building a really great relationship with all these weird people on Facebook. I did eventually set up a fan page but never really committed to it, so it just sort of stopped.

Have you ever had run-ins with trolls?
I’ve had lots of run-ins with trolls. It seems that the main rule of being a troll is that they are unable to distinguish between the use of your and you’re. So whenever they send me messages saying ‘your not funny’ or ‘your fat’ I correct their grammar. That tends to piss them off a lot. I’ve also had some people taken off Twitter and a couple of them fired. I had this one guy tweet real obscenities to me but he did it from his office twitter account so I sent the tweets to his boss.

What’s the biggest way Internet has changed our society?
For me, it’s allowed me to be mobile and that’s what I find incredible. About six years ago I was in the middle of the desert in Syria and couldn't file in my weekly piece as I had no internet connection. I had to ring the copytakers for the first time, and I have to say it was the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever had to do. It’s such a stupid column, and I could feel the women judging it as I read it out. I felt really self-conscious so asked her, “don't you laugh?” She bluntly replied, “I’m not here to laugh, I’m here to take it down.”

Where is the digital life headed? In the future do you think we will we all live online?
I hope not. People need to meet face to face. It’s the same thing when people thought books would disappear because of e-books. I think that’s just crap.

The videos are now live on bingiton.com.

Here's a clip:

 

 

 

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