Margaret Thatcher dies: Twitter reacts to death of Britain's 'Iron Lady'

Margaret Thatcher has died. That much, you probably already know. What you might still be wondering is how the death of one of history's most divisive figures is being received. Where the politicians of years' gone by were formally mourned within the confines of the printed obituary, the digital age has given everyone a voice, be they public figures or ordinary citizens. Moreover, the microblogging era has enabled us to share our thoughts at a moment's notice. So how has the passing of Britain's 'Iron Lady' been received on Twitter? In the space of a few hours, the popular social media platform has morphed into a veritable battleground. Many tweeters, especially public figures, are staying restrained and respectful in their comments, but the overall mood seems to be more in line with the fears expressed by counterculture bible Vice Magazine, which predicted that Thatcher's death would prompt "an unbearable week combining the pomposity of a Jubilee with the psychosis of the Osama death parties." Harry Styles sent out a kiss to Maggie beyond the grave, Joey Barton restrained himself for all of five minutes, and George Galloway was, well, everything you would expect from George Galloway (see image, top). Here are some of the more noteworthy tweets we've picked up on in the past few hours - please remember, the spectrum of views expressed here are hardly our own!

"It was with great sadness that I learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We have lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister, and a great Briton" - David Cameron (@David_Cameron), Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

"I send my deep condolences to Lady Thatcher's family, in particular Mark and Carol Thatcher" - Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband), Labour politician and leader of the Opposition.

"Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today's politics" - Boris Johnson (@MayorOfLondon), Conservative politician and Mayor of London

"Tramp the dirt down" - George Galloway (@georgegalloway), Respect Party leader and MP

"Baroness Thatcher in the 80's kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite" - Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar), entrepreneur and media personality

"RIP Baroness Thatcher .x" - Harry Styles ‏(@Harry_Styles), musician

"Was in the air when the news came in about Margaret Thatcher. Such a force in Britain through my university days through to my 30s." - Stephen Fry (@stephenfry), actor

"Come on Twitter. Margaret Thatcher's been dead for at least 10mins now and Joey Barton's still not had his say. Sloppy." - Scott Wilson (@scottwilsonecho), sports journalist

"I'd say RIP Maggie but it wouldn't be true. If Heaven exists that old witch won't be there..." - Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton33s), footballer...having his say.

"She blazed a trail for women to aim for the highest of high-profile positions. An impressive woman, whatever your politics." - @Blonde_M

"Imagine a world where Noel Gallagher, Sean Ryder & Morrissey were gainfully employed during their formative years. Thanks #MargaretThatcher" - @AceMcWicked

"Interesting [to] see the major media outlets roll out their Thatcher's dead coverage. It's just like that time the Far Cry 3 embargo lifted." - @Lee_Bradley

"I feel all of the people using the #nostatefuneral are missing the point that she's not getting a state funeral" - @jamesthegill

"Twitter splits in 2..one half jokes the other half respects" - Adrian Margot (@adrian_margots), chef

"Bye, Twitter" - Nate Lanxon (@NateLanxon), Wired.co.uk editor

How are you reacting to Margaret Thatcher's death? Have you shared your thoughts on social media? Does Twitter risk becoming an unnavigable battleground in the fallout to major world events like the Iron Lady's passing? Did we miss a priceless tweet? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below - or find us on social media via the logos at the top of the page.