Simply googling ‘trolling’ will reveal the media’s consistent coverage of victims of trolling over the past few months. Given the unrelenting disposable nature of today’s twenty-four hour news cycle I started to question why trolling has persisted as such a hot topic. The only conclusive answer I could draw was its association with celebrity. In our society there is always a demand for celebrity news.
Today I wanted to take a look at a high profile cases of trolling covered in the media. Ironically all of the cases I came across in my research featured victims who are considered celebrity figures in our society.
Who you ask?
For those of you staring blankly at your screen let me enlighten you. Charlotte Dawson is an ex model, former Australia’s next top model judge and c-grade celebrity and socialite. Charlotte Dawson is one celebrity who whole heartedly embraced Twitter from its get go. Despite her haters Dawson built a large and loyal following on the social networking platform over the past few years. Her recent fall from grace took many by surprise and was a harsh reminder of how prevalent trolling has become and the detrimental effects in can have.
The inside scoop.
Always in the spotlight Dawson has her fair share of haters. On Twitter she has always been known to retweet any offensive or abusive tweets that come her way. In late October after receiving one particularly offensive message telling her to hang herself Dawson decided to take action. She traced the users account and contacted the user directly only to receive more abuse. After discovering the user was an employee of the University of Melbourne Dawson contacted her employee and made a formal complaint. The user was subsequently let go by the University. As this story unfolded in the media Dawson was subject to a torrent of abuse from many in the Twitter community. After an intensive eight hours of unrelenting abuse Dawson signed off her account “you win x”. It was later reported that Dawson was sent into a spiral of depression and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of St. Vincents hospital, Sydney.
Watch Charlotte Dawson’s exclusive interview with 60 Minutes here: