'Fifty Shades' Author E L James Did a Twitter Q&A and It Completely Backfired

by Zach Seemayer 6:46 PM PDT, June 29, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Social media can be a fickle beast. Sometimes it can be a wonderful tool for self-promotion, and sometimes it can completely rip you apart.

Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James learned this the hard way when she participated in a Twitter Q&A on Monday. James no doubt anticipated fielding questions from her fans, but it was her critics (and a few trolls) who dominated the event.

Critics of James' writing, her characters, and many who think her books glorify misogyny, stalking and sexual abuse, flocked to the #AskELJames hashtag with some more… hard-hitting questions.

WATCH: Christian Grey in 'Fifty Shades Darker': The First Look

The stream of criticism became so massive that the hashtag became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. and No. 2 worldwide pretty quickly.

The author was not without her defenders, who passionately stood up for her Fifty Shades series and asked the best-selling author honest questions.

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To her credit, James didn't back down from the question and answer session despite the consistent stream of criticism. She answered questions she felt were legitimate, and revealed some insight into her writing process, ultimately making the session more successful than some other disastrous social media campaigns in recent memory.

In November 2014, toward the beginning of the Bill Cosby scandal, someone on the comedian's publicity team encouraged people to "meme" Cosby, adding what were supposed to be funny quotes or comments over pictures of the comic.

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The results were about as catastrophic as you would imagine they might be, and the Cosby meme generator was quickly shut down.

The film adaptation of James’ erotic drama made big bucks at the box office and her new novel, Grey, sold over 1 million copies in just days. Check out the video below to learn everything about James’ new book, told from Christian Grey's perspective.