British actor Stephen Fry has published a lengthy blog post apologising for complaining about the speed of New Zealand broadband on Twitter, and expressing his surprise that his tweets were taken so seriously.
In the 10-page post, titled ‘Making an arse of myself in New Zealand’, Fry talks New Zealand up as being ‘as sophisticated, progressive and forward-looking a nation-state as exists in the world’, and says he never intended to cause offence, or indeed spark a national debate.
"Mostly I think it fair to say a majority of New Zealanders have agreed with me,” Fry writes.
"Some were put out by my criticizing their country, but most have travelled abroad and know that the standard of broadband you get back here is not exactly up to snuff.”
Fry goes on to consider whether comments on Twitter should be taken seriously, or whether the site reflects ‘the real cut and thrust of social interaction’.
"Twitter is called, in case you hadn’t noticed, Twitter. Not Earnest Debate, not Focus, not Forum or World Crisis. Just Twitter. And that’s what I do, I twitter away.
"My tweeting about an issue is not meant to suggest that I think that issue to be crucial, critical or of vital importance.”
Has something you’ve tweeted been taken more seriously than intended? Do you read tweets as written messages, or contributions to a conversation? Post your comments below.