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No, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat was not attacked by Cybermen whose credo is the term “delete.” He really did delete his Twitter account of his own volition.

Moffat, like many in the entertainment industry, has struggled to find the right tone on social media. When and how do you respond to and engage fans? How do you recognize a troll vs. someone who is not the most diplomatic in their 140 limited character message? Do you even take trolling comments on? These are all questions for which there is no right answer.

Moffat has had his ups and downs with social media. At one point, Moffat used Twitter to combat accusations of misogyny when comments from a decade-old interview were taken out of context. On the other hand, Moffat has also been accused of being overly sensitive to constructive criticism and mistaking it for rudeness. An exchange over the background of River Song being bisexual revealed the writer’s testy side.

Fans first noticed that the account had gone missing in the wee hours last night when they attempted to reference Moffat’s account in their tweets about the latest episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” Speculation abounded that Moffat deleted the account because of heaps of negative commentary from fans. Despite the fact that Doctor Who is the most successful show in the U.K. today and was the number one downloaded show on iTunes in America in 2011, each week, Moffat is known to get heaps of insulting tweets from fans telling him that he has failed as the showrunner. He has commented in various interviews that if he listened to Twitter, he would be led to believe that he couldn’t write at all, and has urged cast members to stay off the Internet reading about themselves because the commentary can be brutal.

Sue Vertue, Steven Moffat’s wife and at times creative partner, commented on her own Twitter. She alludes to the medium being a distraction.

Though, the Steven Moffat Twitter is currently gone, those belonging to Caroline Skinner (executive producer), Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and various other cast members are still intact.

Will you miss Steven Moffat on Twitter?

  • http://twitter.com/Nerd_Alexa Alexa

    I hope he comes back! :) I enjoyed his twitter commentray.

  • http://twitter.com/Nerd_Alexa Alexa

    I hope he comes back I enjoyed his Twitter commentary.

  • http://twitter.com/Djacruks Simone Hansen

    Most definitely! Moffat is a joy on Twitter, and hopefully, it is, as Sue Vertue wrote, just to prevent him from distractions.

  • Jessie

    Yeah I think it is probably as Sue said “distractions” because really as a writer and especially a showrunner of a show as popular and as widely known and loved as Doctor Who, you know there’s going to be mixed reviews and backlash, that’s just how it is. So when you sign up for a social network site like twitter, it is unfortunately a known fact that everything sent to you wont be positive

  • Brittany

    I loved Moffat’s tweets! They made me very excited about upcoming episodes, I will miss them :(

    • Geronimo

      Hope he (still?) has a Facebook!

  • Sofia

    Maybe he deleted it because the doctor was deleted from files.

  • http://twitter.com/msqu Marie Squyres

    Earlier in the day on Saturday, the Moff actually tweeted out asking if there was a way to limit who could follow and tweet at him (wish I had taken a screenshot now). Followers responded that all he could do was block or make his account private. He seemed not to want to do either, so maybe he decided to just delete at least for now. I would imagine it’s a mix of Twitter being a distraction and getting heaps of feedback – some useful, some not, but all of it amounting to a massive lot.

    • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

      Damn I wish I would have seen that. A lot of people don’t realize you can filter with lists!

  • jazz

    People hate on Moffat so hard, it’s pretty ridiculous. They accuse him of being some pretty horrible things and I just don’t understand it. I’m sure he deleted his twitter for a number of reasons but still, I wish they would just give him a break.

  • Anonymous

    People were saying really, really nasty and hateful things to him pretty much constantly. It’s one thing if you don’t like his writing, or if you have a good argument as to why his characters aren’t as feminist as they could be…but constantly sending death threats and other vitriol is uncalled for, and more than enough reason to leave.

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    i kind of feel like good for him. it’s not easy for anybody to leave a social networking site these days, just because of the expectation that you’re on at least SOMETHING. that’s the thing about twitter for me. so many people just use it as a tool to say really terrible things because they think it’s funny or entertaining. no thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002255052909 Remy Quist

    Aww, he was awesome on twitter. Allthough he did ask if you could stop certain people from responding to his tweets.

  • Sherlokian

    Poor moff. He’s done a fantastic job with the show. I just started watching last season and I’m hooked already.

  • cuddy2977

    Lordy, yes: I like getting straight poop about my favourite show: and frankly, THAT only comes from the man himself

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudioCatino CCMASTER_01

    It sounds like his wife deleted his account, lOl.

    • Geronimo

      hahaha that is so funny

  • Katiedora

    I think Moffat does get an unnecessary amount of hate on Twitter, so I could see it as being a better personal decision for him to delete it (although you could avoid it by just not going on Twitter just as effectively as deleting), but it’s true I don’t think he was the best at it. He could definitely be funny, but I have plenty of issues with his writing in DW and it was sometimes a let down to see how unwilling he was to take on any constructive criticism about it. Getting sass as a response to legitimate questions is not what you want to see from a showrunner.

    • Name

      I don’t think people have any place to criticize him, or anyone surely. If you don’t like his writing, you don’t have to watch his shows! It’s as simple as that. I don’t believe constructive criticism is actually constructive–it just hurts. I personally like his writing.

      • sarah

        lol are you serious right now? if you put your work out there you’re letting anyone judge it, regardless of who they are/how much they know about it. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS NECESSARY TO ANY ARTIST. NOBODY’S PERFECT. YOU NEED TO GROW AND EVOLVE. you personally like his writing. that’s your opinion. nobody needs to share your opinion so don’t shame others for their own opinions.

      • itamoon

        You know there are people who are paid to give constructive criticism, right? How much better can you get if no one ever tells you what you did wrong?

        (No, this is not what’s happening on Twitter, but the scope of your statement didn’t seem limited to that)

      • Katiedora

        Excuse me. The first thing you have to expect when putting your writing/art/whatever in a public place is criticism. If you can’t handle that, you have no business doing so. Moffat would not have gotten as good as he is (and yes, I do believe he is good, but I think he’s starting to reuse a lot of his stuff and I’m over it, because his attempts to make things more edgy are actually upsetting) if he did not take constructive criticism. You can remain true to your ideas and style and whatever and still listen to others to fix things you cannot see yourself. Unfortunately, he is seeming less and less willing to listen to others.
        Also, I will criticize who I damn well please, with full acceptance that I will receive the same. The only reason I have issue with your response (WHICH COUNTS AS CRITICISM) is because it’s very poorly founded logic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Stuart/100001006449261 Daniel Stuart

        I think you are right to an extent, real and true helpful constructive criticism is rare these days. Most of the criticism he gets is useless. Being a professional critic is no longer a profession that helps artists or the public but only serves as a source of income for tyrants and snobs. Most fans criticism of Moffat is of no use to him but rather is useful for the criticisers themselves because it is a way for them to step into the role of a writer and think about how they would do things which is great to foster their own creativity but not worth much else.

      • bedwetter mccrapenstein

        that’s how free speech dies…. you get people whining about their feelings in regards to rudeness, have someone in a position of media-enabled power bitching about people having thoughts, then eventually the mediums themselves run to bow down to the chosen few to enforce the cult of personality that demands, like the kid in twilight zone, that all thoughts be happy thoughts. and that’s a catchy premise…. look through these comments!

    • American Moth

      I’m sure Moff takes constructive criticism into consideration, but if he took EVERY fans opinion into consideration, we would get very spineless episodes of Doctor Who. For example, some people don’t like River Song at all, while I personally love her. You can’t please everyone. I think Moffat takes constructive criticism from people who do these types of things for a living, not from angry fans with twitter accounts.

      • Katiedora

        Obviously I understand that. You have to be able to weed out the poor stuff to get the legitimate suggestions. I’m sure every episode goes through a ton of drafts and versions to get the best possible script. And I think it’s good to have some polarizing bits because it helps the show and the fans grow (I’m a little on the fence about River myself, but I value what she adds to the whole thing).
        And Twitter is a dumb place for all that to happen, but I think every celebrity/public persona ought to be aware that they need to expect that stuff and know they don’t actually have to respond. I think that is my real issue. I feel like he got dismissive of real concerns on Twitter because it was on Twitter, even when there was plenty of support for whatever the criticism was.
        I really believe Moffat has some great, crazy, entertaining ideas, and he certainly has style (which I even enjoyed seeing on Twitter), I just wish he did some characters a bit different.

      • Caan

        I used to be pissed of at Moffat over River Song: I couldn’t sleep most nights cos i was trying to figure out who she was

  • Gary65

    He that is known as The Moff shall abruptly end thy Twitter……..IT IS THE 4TH HORSEMAN!!! THE END IS NIGH!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Madeleine

    I may not like the way Moffat writes some of his female characters. But good Lord, he’s bloody brilliant, and he’s getting better about the slightly sexist overtones. I will miss him on Twitter, and I hope all the asshats who sent him hate mail are proud of themselves.

  • http://twitter.com/dragonrider713 Nikki

    I will certainly miss Moffat popping up on my Twitter.

  • Glaciusx

    I don’t think he’s failed…ugh, if these so called “fans” think he’s failed well here’s an idea: STOP WATCHING THE SHOW.

  • madisonthehufflepuff

    I loved folowing him on twitter! Steven Moffat is practically a god in my eyes

  • rdh014

    Good for him! I am contemplating quitting facebook because of all the negativity I see ALL THE TIME.

  • sadnow

    I’m so angry at the few who wreck it for everyone else. Poor Moffat, I’m sorry people didn’t like The Asylum of the Daleks, I loved it and all my friends did too. I guess people don’t know a good story even if it slapped them in the face, probably because it required thinking. I’m going to miss you, and hope you don’t let those haters get you down! =)

  • JM

    Didn’t notice he deleted the account and don’t care. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-Ortiz/1809504667 Fred Ortiz

    So he took his ball and went home… maybe if he followed Big Finsh’s format for Doctor Who he wouldn’t be ‘crying’ about his flaws as show runner being pointed out

  • Bea

    people are stupid. Don’t they see that Moffat created a buch of very strong women in Doctor Who? Don’t they see, that he himself is married to a very strong woman who is not just “Moffats wife” but a producer herself?
    Can’t they put one and one together and see that this quote MUST be taken out of context?
    The only thing Moffat is to blame is that he listens to stupid people on twitter.

  • Lauren


  • Emilia

    It’s crazy. Seriously. I’ll find every single one who said something bad to him, and I won’t let you get away so easy. How unrespectful can you be? “Fans”. More like asses to me.

  • Assbasher

    He can’t write for shit.

  • Who?

    No wonder he deleted his account; I saw some of those brutal comments. Of course we will miss him, and I wish he came back, but he has a point. Artists shouldn’t read what people write about them. If anything, the ratings speak for themselves.

  • http://twitter.com/SheshiePie SheshiePie

    If he does come back I am sure he will learn on to better utilize twitter where he can create lists and the like. That and use twitter for more of a marketing, and some interaction, but not feel as if he is obligated to answer as much as he had. For trolls and such block, and move on. For constructive criticism maybe offer a better avenue that offers for well-thought out ideas that 140 characters simply cannot do justice. Additionally to that for legal reasons do not offer ideas for how a character should be done etc. For the hate, the people sending the messages need to step back, realize that is unnecessary and vent through other means like live journal and keep the vitriol to themselves. Frankly they do not matter as much as they think (or should not matter).

  • kamrom dechu

    I havent been happy with ALL of Moffat’s writing. But wouldn’t it be weird if I was? A world where everyone agreed with me would be pretty boring. Still loving the show! Also, cracked.

  • Steven Moffat’s Biggest Fan

    For Goodness sake! All those people who hate on the Grand Steven Moffat, F*CK UP! I’d like to see you do a better job! All those who want Russell T. Davies back, FORGET IT! Even though he’s jealous of Matt and Steven, HE WON’T RETURN! Boy am I glad that he doesn’t have to be distracted by you f*ckwits who hate on him anymore!

  • Steven Moffat’s 2ndBiggest Fan

    Why the hell is twitter so negative!?

  • Bleep!

    Moffat you will UPGRADE! DELETE all trolls.

  • Jin

    Moffat is BRILLIANT. Coupling was BRILLIANT. Sherlock was BRILLIANT. DW is BRILLIANT. Twitter is full of twits. If Einstein had a handle, he’d get trolled too. Wish I could have followed Moffat on Twitter but I understand his reticence.

  • Jin

    Oh, and anyone who calls him a misogynist should take a look a Susan in Coupling. I can’t imagine a more balanced female.

  • Sassy3000

    He is a jerk! I might be “Less then diplomatic” when I complain about his stupid stories but I READ ONE GUY who wrote “I am a fan, and love most of your stories. I just didn’t think AOD your best work.” OR WORDS TO THAT EXTENT! And that Jackazz, was really rude to him. telling him to check his spelling and basically just being a jerk to a guy WHO SAID HE REALLY LIKE HIS WRITING! Really?! That’s how you treat someone who MOSTLY admires you? Anyone who thinks ANYONE is “Entitled” to be rude FOR WHATEVER HALF-WITTED REASON THEY CHOSE TO PULL OUT OF THEIR REAR-END CAN STFU!

    There IS NO ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE! PERIOD! There ARE countless examples of celebrities who probably wouldn’t be the most tactful either, THAT’S WHY THEY HIRE SOMEONE TO RUN THEIR PUBLIC ACCOUNTS FOR THEM! That’s why they have a great public image and Steven Moffat always comes across as a grumpy old man!

  • Sassy3000

    And knock off the lies! VERY FEW people were saying Really Rude things so stop lying! And I never followed him on Twitter so don’t even go there.

    But I DID read a lot of the stuff people were writing and most of it was really sickening nauseating butt-kissing crap that made me want to vomit! Saying you like someone’s work is one thing, But saying they the greatest writer of all time…………..WTF?! Not even close!

    I saw MOSTLY on the negative front, FANS who were fed up with Moffy’s crap and were simply telling him so. STOP BEING SO THIN-SKINNED! sheesh! Oh he said he wasn’t the best writer in the world! He must be a troll, hater, jealous, elitist, etc, etc AD NAUSEUM! Give it a rest! No they weren’t! They were just angry fans! Deal with it! And learn to shut your mouths! Say your piece AND ALLOW OTHERS TO SAY THEIRS! Seriously Some Fans are like Sick psychotic Vultures who need to be blocked from the computer!
    I’m talking SOME from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Twilight, Glee, The Hunger Games, etc! There are F-A-N-S! And then there are psychopaths whose rebuttals are WAY OVER THE TOP! I’M TALKING INSANE!

    I love the show! I don’t hate Moffat! Got that?! And Yes! I have a right to say so! Welcome to planet reality! If I don’t! then YOU DON’T! that’s how freedom works! Either everybody is free, or nobody is free.

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