Last week, Paul Joseph Watson, a popular conspiracy theorist, and alt-right pundit, decided to take a swing at BBC for an animated video. The video was a historical piece focused on Roman Britain and it featured a series of characters of color.
“Thank God the BBC is portraying Roman Britain as ethnically diverse,” Watson wrote, the sneer in his voice clear even from a tweet. “I mean, who cares about historical accuracy, right?” Roman Britain was an area of Great Britain governed by the Romans somewhere between 43 and 410 AD, however, the swing Watson took at BBC for their portrayal of ancient times was completely unfounded.
Mike Stuchbery, an English historian, just so happened to be one of Watson’s followers on twitter. Naturally, Stuchbery couldn’t just stand by and let Watson make unfounded claims, so he served up a history lesson for not only Watson but all of Twitter. In just a few hours, Stuchbery had a long thread going purely dedicated to debunking the myth that Roman Britain was not ethnically diverse.
To start, Stuchbery immediately had to ask whether or not Watson was willfully ignorant or simply playing the role for his followers.
From there, Stuchbery threw out the idea that Roman Britain wasn’t diverse, explaining that it was diverse practically by design.
He went on to explain the detailed process of the way Roman Britain worked during those times for added context.
Stuchberry didn’t stop there, he even gave sources to go back to every single point he made just to prove that he wasn’t pulling it all out of thin air.
Naturally, Stuchbery’s response went viral and was liked over 16, 000 times. His poignancy helped to fuel a number of retweets and shares, it even brought him to the outspoken urban fantasy author, JK Rowling.
Stuchbery was surprised by JK Rowling’s interest in him and he responded back in kind.
While Stuchbery’s response to Watson is easy entertainment, it’s important to remember how important it is not to believe everything you read on the Internet (in the case of Watson).
So often we believe almost everything we read, believing the Internet to be a credible place overall, but it’s good to be reminded that misleading comments can do a lot of harm but there are those who exist to give us the proper knowledge.