SAD and sick instances of online abuse have became far too commonplace in the UK.
Making a mean comment online may seem harmless, but trolls have driven people to depression and even to commit suicide. Here’s everything you need to know about online abuse…
What is an internet troll?
The word ‘troll’ is slang for a person who deliberately starts arguments on the internet with the aim of provoking an individual or group into a reaction.
It can be done because they genuinely want a healthy debate, or because the troll simply enjoys winding people up.
The term has nothing to do with the ugly green character from children’s literature, it’s actually a fishing term.
Like fisherman, trolls attach their bait and wait for other members of the public (the fish) to bite.
This is why trolls often target celebrities and other public figures – they’re not necessarily looking for a reaction from the stars themselves, but from their army of loyal followers.
For this reason, the best way to get a troll to go away is simply to ignore them.
Trolls will make deliberately cruel, racist, homophobic and sexist comments – or even tell people to kill themselves – then sit back to enjoy the outraged responses.
Which celebrities have been targeted by trolls?
Jesy Nelson has revealed she wanted to quit Little Mix “all the time” in the wake of her trolling nightmare[/caption]
- Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson has opened about how she tried to take her own life after being subjected to endless trolling
- Instagram cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch has shared how a hateful trolls have reduced her to tears
- Ex on the Beach star Zahida Allen was urged to ‘hang herself’ by one racist troll
- Towie’s Megan McKenna was outraged when online jokers suggested she had six toes on one foot.
- Rebekah and Jamie Vardy’s children have been the subject of serious online abuse, with the distraught parents regularly speaking out against online bullying.
- Katie Price’s disabled son Harvey is another public figure who is mercilessly mocked by trolls
- Vile keyboard warriors even taunted Lily Allen over her baby’s tragic stillbirth
- Danielle Lloyd also admitted she’s become depressed and anxious because of online harassment.
- This month, Olivia Attwood spoke out about the “relentless” abuse she has received since Love Island ended.
- Loose Women panellist Saira Khan is another celebrity that has taken a stand against trolls
- Mariah Carey was also targeted by Twitter users who accused her of Photoshopping topless shots
- Madeleine McCann’s parents have been victims to intense internet trolling and are fighting against them.
- Former Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts was subject to around 3,000 messages from ex-boyfriend Carl Davies, which reportedly included threats to stab and burn her.
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What is being done about it?
Currently, there is an online petition to make online abuse a specific criminal offence.
It has gathered more than 200,000 signatures.
It was last debated on April 29, 2019.
You can find it here.