Did J.K. Rowling Make Up Story About Man Calling Theresa May a ‘Whore’?

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 1:40 pm, June 10, 2017

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that she unfollowed a man for calling UK Prime Minister Theresa May a “whore,” instantly making her a hero for calling out sexism on both sides of politics.

There’s just one tiny problem—it doesn’t look like Rowling actually unfollowed anyone.

Rowling, an active Labor Party supporter albeit critical of the party leader Jeremy Corbyn, went on a tweet storm Friday, a day after May’s party lost their majority of seats in the UK General Election.

“Just unfollowed a man whom I thought was smart and funny, because he called Theresa May a whore,” the Harry Potter author wrote, prompting instant cheers from her fans and journalists.

She continued her thread of tweets, saying things like “If you can’t disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics.” She also said “I’m sick of ‘liberal’ men whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them, who reach immediately for crude and humiliating words.”

“You’re a few short steps away from some guy hiding behind a cartoon frog,” she added, in a 14-tweet attack on social media.

Her tweets attacking the man, whom she didn’t name, have generated a number of complimentary articles in The Sun, Huffington Post, Washington Examiner, and even from us. They celebrated Rowling’s takedown of liberal men who suddenly drop their support tolerance when a powerful conservative woman shows up.

But while the author’s tweets highlighted a real problem on the left, it appears that it’s based on a fiction, as there’s no indication that she unfollowed anyone after an alleged man call May a “whore.”

Thanks to online archives, we are able to track Rowling’s twitter following habits. At the time of the tweets on Friday, the author followed 497 accounts. On Thursday morning, she was following 495.

This suggests to us that the distinguished author followed two people between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, UK time. Luckily for us, Twitter lists people we follow in chronological order, meaning we can see the most recent people someone has followed.

There are two accounts Rowling followed since Thursday morning—Jo Maugham and Robert Harris.

Rowling’s three most recent follows

Rowling most likely would have followed Harris on Jun 8 after she retweeted him. Maugham, meanwhile, was followed sometime on Friday—bringing the total number of accounts followed by Rowling to 497, the exact number as during the time she sent the now-viral tweets.

Simple math tells us that if Rowling, who claimed she “just unfollowed a man,” had done what she claimed, the number of total followers would actually be 496.

This suggests that the writer either didn’t unfollow the alleged man, despite him calling May a “whore,” or the man doesn’t even exist and Rowling just virtue-signaled and created a story out of thin air.

We urge Rowling to contact Heat Street via Pitches@Heatst.com with the identity of the man who called May a “whore,” or apologize for misleading the public.

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