Charlotte Dawson has recently become a major headline in Australia due to her series of drastic responses to an online hate campaign targeted toward her. The Australia’s Next Top Model judge has appeared in several interviews to increase awareness of trolling, a phenomenon that almost cost her life.
In the previously anonymous world of trolling it’s becoming more and more common for the most oblivious of trolls to use their official social media accounts with their real names, not realizing the danger of their position. Inevitably someone, Ms. Dawson in this case, cottoned on to this factoid and contacted the employer of a Twitter troll, getting them suspended from their job. Unfortunately she had no idea what she was getting herself into.
Just days later, after appearing on various news programs professing the dangers of trolling and how she felt completely justified in her counter-attack, Ms. Dawsons long battle with depression came abruptly to light. It emerged that she had attempted suicide due to the trolling.
“They got the better of me and they won.”said Ms. Dawson on 60 Minutes .
Due to the fact she is soon to release a book many critics have labelled this entire ordeal a publicity stunt, a claim she vehemently denies. No matter what the reasons behind this story it has certainly sparked debate in Australia and brought trolling into the public conscience more than ever before.
“…If I was doing some publicity stunt I would choose probably a little bit of a different time, I would probably be sitting here in front of you with full hair and makeup, you know, looking all glamorous and going ‘poor me, poor me’. I’m not saying that at all.” said Ms. Dawson on 60 Minutes .
Since the popularity explosion of social networking the internet has been leaning more and more to the serious business side. Could the wild-west days of the internet soon be over? Will anti-trolling laws be passed? Should trolls be named and shamed? Leave your comments below.