Joey Barton: "I admit that I’ve trolled"
Writing in his monthly column in this week’s magazine, the footballer confessed to using Twitter to attack stars of reality television show The Only Way Is Essex.
He also suggested stars like diver Tom Daley should just ignore online abuse from trolls, the name used for people who bombard other internet users with vicious insults.
Barton’s spat with Mark Wright and James ‘Arg’ Argent began after they bumped into each other at a nightclub.
Using Twitter, Barton called them “freaks” who live “shallow, fake, pretentious lifestyles”, prompting retaliation from the TOWIE stars.
In his column, Joey Barton wrote: “I admit that I’ve trolled. My exchange with the TOWIE crew was designed to alleviate my frustration with monosyllabic celebrities, provoke a reaction and just have some banter.”
Barton also revealed the abuse he suffers online and suggested celebrities should simply shrug off the criticism of other trolls.
He added: “It’s easier to ignore the idiots, just like when you get the aggressive road rage types.
“I really think this of the case with Tom Daley. What a fuss. The media just made a circus around the clown – not great for Tom. Surely all he needs to do is press block. Job done.”
Trolls rounded on Daley after he failed to win a gold medal at the London Olympics.
He retweeted one particularly offensive message which said: “You let your dad down. I hope you know that.”
Tom responded: “After giving it my all... you get idiots sending me this.”
Joey Barton’s column is in this week’s Big Issue, on sale now