If you have nothing nice to tweet, it would behoove you to step away from your smartphone.
Grizzled F1 journalist Joe Saward is in a bit of hot water after taking the low road, presumably in a moment of social media weakness, rudely replying to an up-and-coming journalist’s tweet.
Ellie Fish, who goes by @EllieJaneF1, tweeted out her latest piece on Drive Tribe, throwing praise at F1 driver Lance Stroll’s latest accomplishments behind the wheel.
You all should of expected I was gonna take my Lance Stroll love to an article. Here you have it, it’s time to talk about the fact Lance deserves his seat in #F1 https://t.co/ww24bUWvNX— ellie (@elliejaneF1) September 15, 2020
Shortly after, Saward threw his .02 in, replying, “Note to self: Don’t recommend @Sheffielduni as school for journalism.”
After dozens of replies denouncing his bit of vitriol, Saward deleted his tweet, but not before someone screenshotted it (because nothing really ever dies on the internet.)
Check out the offending tweet below.
Fish responded, quote tweeting’s Seward’s reply, apologizing to Seward that her words didn’t live up to his expectations.
Sorry you don’t like my writing Joe. First of all I don’t start at the university till next week, so this is all down to me. So sorry you didn’t like it… https://t.co/xkrhjAQdUU— ellie (@elliejaneF1) September 16, 2020
Fish further explained some of her “shaky writing” was because of her dyslexia.
Also on the fact I have dyslexia. I don’t want it to hold me back or be an excuse for my sometimes shaky writing. thank you everyone who has contacted me with advice! I’m definitely going to look into all the outlets I can just to get better at it!— ellie (@elliejaneF1) September 16, 2020
Within a matter of hours, Fish gained over 1000 followers and counting, many of them DM’ing her with advice how she can further improve her writing.
In all this mist, I reached 3K followers thank you guys! Very appreciated, not sure how long ill stay at the number but for now I’ve hit it thank you?— ellie (@elliejaneF1) September 16, 2020
Dozens of replies and tweets poured in, in support of Fish.
Well done for the article Ellie. Great to read about a genuine love of#F1 and drivers, even if not everyone agrees! Keep up the good work ❤️ https://t.co/qkF1KP4a4C— Jennie Gow (@JennieGow) September 16, 2020
We're grateful to have you using our platform to further your passion, Ellie! Keep up the good work and best of luck with your studies!— DRIVETRIBE (@DRIVETRIBE) September 16, 2020
Others came to Saward’s defense, bringing up times he helped support a new writer when they were starting out.
Just a note…— Will Buxton (@wbuxtonofficial) September 16, 2020
Whilst I was at Uni an F1 journalist took the time to help me with my studies, take an interest in and advise me with my writing and even publish my enthusiastic but imperfect work on his website. It was the break that led me to my dream job.
It was @joesaward
Years ago now, @joesaward gave me a regular slot writing for https://t.co/AeZ0sVgaBv. No pay but it got my work out there. The long and the short of it was that ITV F1 saw my scribblings and this lead to ten years of being paid good money for what had just been a hobby. 1/2 https://t.co/FFtNAJzeta— Grand Prix Diary (@GrandPrixDiary) September 16, 2020
Saward has since posted his own non-apology, explaining what he meant when he tweeted his reply, mainly that he took offense to the “use of ‘of’ in place of ‘have’ was not good English. That’s it.”
I was pointing out that the use of ‘of’ in place of ‘have’ was not good English. That’s it. The rest is people getting excited about things that are not there.— Joe Saward (@joesaward) September 16, 2020
It wasn’t rude. I do like change and I do like nurturing young talent. I have discussed it all with Ellie and we’re fine. So you can reel in your fingernails…— Joe Saward (@joesaward) September 16, 2020
If you really had a problem with her grammar, Saward, why not tweet that out in plain English instead of the roundabout way you took?
And, have you ever heard of praise in public, criticize in private?