‘Don’t buy the Sun’ rallying cry reemerges amid WAG feud

In the wake of the soccer WAGs Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy epic feud, where Rooney accused Vardy of leaking her private Instagram posts to the Sun, the hashtag #dontbuythesun trended once again.

For those not in the know, the SunBritain’s best-selling newspaper and popularly nicknamed “the Scum”—is a tabloid with a controversial reputation, which includes a long history of xenophobia, racism, and questionable journalistic practices.

Best known for its appalling coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, a football match where 96 people were killed and 766 more injured in the Liverpool stands, the Sun chose to blame those fans for the deaths rather than the local police who failed to enact appropriate crowd control measures.

Its coverage included false allegations against the fans, smearing them as hooligans, and accusing them of attacking the police and urinating on the victims. The result of which has been an almost city-wide boycott of the newspaper ever since, with many Liverpudlians even burning any copy they’re given for free.

Naturally, Liverpudlians and football fans permeated the hashtag, with many wondering what took everybody else so long.

The paper’s history of racism was also featured prominently in the renewed movement, with a reminder of the infamous article by provocateur Katie Hopkins in which she referred to migrants as “cockroaches” and “feral humans” who were “spreading like norovirus.”

Hopkins and the paper were condemned by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, which said the language compared to that used in the lead-up to the Rwandan genocide.

There were also references to the multiple phone-hacking scandals the Sun has been implicated in, with some suggesting that maybe Vardy really didn’t leak the stories and that the Sun hacked her Instagram instead.

A couple of Twitter users did think of one reason to buy the Sun—Brexit is coming and with it a potential shortage of toilet paper.

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Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org