“SCUM,” read one of many tweets directed towards Kelvin MacKenzie Wednesday.
Only the recipient of much of the hate-filled comments was @kelvinmackenzie, an 18-year-old from Scotland, and not the former editor for a newspaper who was deemed to have printed untrue allegations about a disaster in which 96 people lost their lives under an inflammatory headline.
The crush at an April 1989 soccer game at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, also resulted in hundreds of people, all of whom were fans of Liverpool, being injured.
A few days later, The Sun, under MacKenzie’s control, published allegations that Liverpool fans were stealing from the dead, and attacking and urinating on rescue workers in a front page story titled “The Truth.” Other newspapers published the allegations, though they expressed a level of doubt over the claims and The Sun was the only one to run them with such a headline.
An official report published in 1990 blamed poor police control for the disaster. A further report, published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel Wednesday, affirmed that the game’s crowd of more than 50,000 people was not safely managed by authorities. It also stated that police had amended more than 100 statements to cover up shortcomings and shift the blame onto fans, who "neither caused nor contributed to the deaths" according to evidence.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron apologized Wednesday for the failures that caused the tragedy and the cover-up attempt, while Labour Party leader Ed Miliband called for a full inquest and urged The Sun to apologize.
His apology was not accepted by a number of people on Twitter, who mistakenly targeted the teenage Mackenzie (note the slight spelling variation) with abusive comments.
“My Twitter is going mentAl because of people thinking I'm the sun editor and getting rakes of abuse! I'm the good guy,” he wrote, in response to tweets such as the following:
“how dare you...your mindset in everything from Hillsborough to mankind in general is that of a moron & sycophantic asshole”
“Hang your head in shame @KelvinMacKenzie. Too little Too late. #JusticeForThe96 at last”
“Pigs guilty of the Hillsborough disaster. @KelvinMacKenzie, you're a fucking #Wanker”
The young Scot, who claimed to be used to such comments, seemed to agree with much of the sentiment expressed by those landing hammerblows at him on Twitter, responding to many of their tweets with the cheeky hashtag #theoldonesac**t (the uncensored version, of course).
Photo via YouTube