1. ITV Report

'Barraco Barner' tweeter hits back after global ridicule

The infamous Tweet, now deleted. Photo: Twitter.

A woman from Lancashire who became the subject of global ridicule after tweeting her thoughts on the Ukraine crisis has hit back after being trolled online.

Gemma Worrall, a 20-year-old beautician's receptionist, tweeted:

If barraco barner is our president, why is he getting involved with Russia, scary.

The various factual inaccuracies in the tweet amused her friends and followers, who then retweeted the gaffe to theirs.

However within 12 hours it had been retweeted almost 7,000 times, and the gentle chiding became more sinister as the tweet went viral, with the hashtag #BarracoBarner trending across the UK.

Screenshots of her words appeared on television news programmes across the UK, Canada, the USA and even as far away as South Africa and Australia.

As thousands reacted to her words from all over the world, Gemma said she said was initially amused if not a little shocked by the whole thing, but things got more serious when she was subjected to the darker side of social media - vicious trolling and bullying from strangers who derided her comments and threatened to attack her.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said she could not believe the level of abuse she received, and was shocked about where it was coming from:

You’d think that a lot of the vile stuff would come from young people of my own generation, but it seems to be the mums and dads who say the worst things.

They’ve said to me “Make sure you don’t breed” and called me an “oxygen thief”. Strangers have called me a “stupid cow”.

She says she has not contacted police or Twitter, but did inform Facebook.

Gemma admitted her tweet did sound a bit stupid, but insists she is not the bimbo her thoughtless gaff may have suggested. She says she has an extraordinary 17 GCSEs, in subjects including English, Business Studies, Religion, Textiles, Technology and Media Studies.

She also says he has two A-Levels in Travel and Tourism, but conceded politics was not her strong point.

I would like to get educated about Ukraine now and I’ll definitely make more of an effort to watch the news. People are saying to me “Go back to school”, but even at school we never learned about politics and current affairs.

For now, she appears to be taking the attention in her stride, and though her family continue to worry about her new found fame, she says she is confident it will all die down in a few days.