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Ricky Gervais: The Start of a Twitter Backlash?

Asked by publicists to tout the Golden Globes, British comedian Ricky Gervais decides that self-promotion on Twitter is "undignified."
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Twitter's popularity has soared thanks partly to a celebrity love-in,'® but is the backlash beginning? '®'®British comic Ricky Gervais – perhaps best known as boss-from-hell'® David Brent from BBC's The Office – publicly quit the micro-blogging service within weeks of joining. He opened an account December 14 because '®Golden Globe bosses wanted him to Tweet as he hosts the awards '®ceremony January 17.

But after composing only five Tweets, Gervais gave up on January 9, telling his 13,000'® followers he was going to stop his updates because "I don't see the'® point." He followed up with an'® explanation on his blog,'® calling Twitter "undignified." (As opposed, say, to David Brent dance.)

"I just don't get it, I'm afraid," Gervais wrote. "I'm sure it's fun as a '®networking device for teenagers but there's something a bit '®undignified about adults using it. Particularly celebrities who seem '®to be showing off by talking to each other in public."

He added: "If I want to tell a friend, famous or otherwise what I had'® to eat this morning, I'll text them. And since I don't need to make '®new virtual friends, it seemed a bit pointless to be honest."

As for the Golden Globes, Gervais pointed out that the show is watched'® by 25 million people in the U.S. and maybe 300 million people worldwide'® – "tweeting about it would be a drop in the ocean," Gervais noted. '®"Also I've got the Web site and I don't have to restrict things to 140'® characters. My tweeting was becoming like a tabloid version of this '®blog, and I couldn't even put important stuff like this up."

As David Brent once said, "You have to be 100 percent behind someone'® before you can stab them in the back."

Last updated: Jan 15, 2010

Inc. contributing editor COURTNEY RUBIN was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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