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#DontBuyTheSun Trends On Twitter Following Front Page On Ben Stokes
17 September 2019, 12:36 | Updated: 17 September 2019, 12:58
A Twitter campaign to boycott The Sun after English cricketer Ben Stokes accused them of "low and despicable behaviour" for covering a painful family tragedy on their front page is trending.
In a statement, Ben Stokes wrote: "I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family.
"For more than three decades, my family has worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events."
The controversial coverage prompted Twitter users to launch a campaign using the #dontbuythesun. Also trending was #BoycottThe Sun.
Fans and sympathisers shared the hashtag - some question whether the story was in the public interest.
Can anyone from the @TheSun explain to me and everyone else why you thought today's piece on Ben Stokes was required or in the public interest and what you hoped to achieve? A despicable piece of non journalism. #boycottthesun— Huw Lloyd (@Lloydzilla) September 17, 2019
Are there no depths to which the Sun will sink? Dragging up unsavoury family events relating to @benstokes from before he was even born is a new and shameful low even for that scummy rag. And shame on the Mail, too, for covering it in detail. #Dontbuythesun #boycottthesun— 𝐼𝓋𝑜𝓇 𝐻𝓊𝓉𝒸𝒽𝒾𝓃𝓈𝑜𝓃 (@IvorHutchinson) September 17, 2019
He also said in the statement: "On Saturday, The Sun sent a 'reporter' to my parents' home in New Zealand to question them, out of the blue, on this incredibly upsetting topic.
"If that wasn't bad enough, The Sun think it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page."
A spokesperson for The Sun said:
"The Sun has the utmost sympathy for Ben Stokes and his mother but it is only right to point out the story was told with the co-operation of a family member who supplied details, provided photographs and posed for pictures.
"The tragedy is also a matter of public record and was the subject of extensive front page publicity in New Zealand at the time.
"The Sun has huge admiration for Ben Stokes and we were delighted to celebrate his sporting heroics this summer. He was contacted prior to publication and at no stage did he or his representatives ask us not to publish the story."