Millions use social media worldwide for many different purposes, some for work and some for pleasure. With its popularity growing daily, it is no wonder the amount of celebrities that use it to contact their fans- giving them a way in which to share their world with the people that love them the most. And as a fan, the feeling that they get being able to look into the life of their most loved celebrity and see what their up to on a daily basis with pictures, comments etc. is exciting and rewarding.

Although there are so many positives to this new online world, there are also downsides. With fans being able to message on these social media sites their adoration to celebrities they can also message their hate. Unlike the general public celebrities have thousands more followers than anyone in the general public; therefore is it safe to say that they come under attack from cyber bullies more because of their celebrity status than others?

When looking at an examples of celebrities coming under attack from cyber bullies, in 2012 when Tom Daley (then aged 18) took part in the Olympics and coming fourth he received malicious tweets from a ‘Twitter troll’, one tweet even saying ‘you’ve let your father down.’ Tom’s father died of cancer in 2011.  Tom later re-tweeted these comments to his thousands of followers, writing his distress over such words and the boy was later arrested. With this terrible internet attack getting resolved he was comforted by his thousands of followers and flooded with praise from them about his accomplishments during the Olympics.

Another example of a celebrity that faced vicious attacks over social media was Charlotte Dawson (aged 47.) The Australian model and TV host received taunts over Twitter from various different members of the public, these comments came about after Charlotte came out to defend a fan and named and shamed the cyber bully that was victimising her fan to her thousands of followers. Some of the vile comments she received even said for her to ‘go hang yourself.’ Following the brutal online attack Charlotte was rushed to hospital after she tried to commit suicide, clearly showing the severe emotional distress that she was put through from this event. Now on the mend, she has not regrets over her actions and feels proud that she was able to help her fan but says that cyber bullying is something that has by no means stopped for her or others in the world.

With more celebrities going public with their stories about being cyber bullied do you think it’s fair to say that they are more at risk of being targeted by internet trolls as being in the public eye places them in the firing line to receive these attacks more so than the general public? Now whether you think this is true or not another point to ponder is that, although they could be victimised more so than the general public, do you think that they have a better support system than others because of their vast fan base?

As you have read, Charlotte Dawson was victimised for bringing to light a cyber bully to the world, but do you think that as a celebrity it is their ethical duty to act against cyber bullies and bring them to justice?

Please let us know your opinion on this matter; all your comments are appreciated.

R

 

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