This woman's tweets are being hailed as a masterclass in trolling - but here is what really happened

This is Katie Cunningham. She lives in Toronto, Canada

A few days ago Katie decided to send out this tweet

Shortly afterwards, man on the internet Greg Hughes decided to get involved too. So he tweeted her back

What followed has been hailed as a masterclass in trolling...

Cunningham's subsequent screenshot of the exchange has received thousands of retweets

People have been hailing Cunningham's tweets as a work of art

The internet at its best...

Cunningham is a hero...

But others have wondered if Hughes was actually the real troll and that he'd managed to fool everyone

However, Hughes, who now lives in Abu Dhabi, told indy100 that wasn't the case:

Some people have said they think I was doing to 'perfect' troll but honestly that wasn't my intention... I thought her tweet was funny so I elaborated on the joke.

Hughes says he was in on the joke all along. In the face of mocking comments, he's maintained that people didn't understand his "British humour" and that no "matter what your intention is people will read it how they want" - arguing that he's being misrepresented as a "chauvinist" and a "mansplainer".

He revealed that the pair have since spoken over direct message and that Cunningham now understands what he was getting at.

Even if the whole thing was a joke, however, both Hughes and Cunningham have received a fair bit of vitriol following the exchange

Cunningham told BuzzFeed that even if the tweets were a joke, the responses reveal a lot about attitudes online:

Apparently, [Hughes has] been pretty shocked at the people defending him and criticizing me, which just proves my point: So many men @ me horrible, condescending stuff (this morning I got a DM that just said ‘cancer’) that there’s no way to tell who is serious and who is ‘joking.’

Hughes seemed to agree, telling indy100 that one thing he'd noticed was that most of the abuse he'd received had come from men.

Although perhaps the biggest irony of all was that he ended up having to 'mansplain' his joke about 'mansplaining'

I was always brought up with the idea that Americans (OK, I know she is Canadian, but...) just don't get irony. So I should have known better I guess.

And the further irony is, that when I showed my Australian wife this was going viral, she just didn't understand why - so I had to mansplain to her that some people just don't get irony.

indy100 has contacted Cunningham for a comment

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