Erin Molan details horrific online abuse during social media investigation
TV personality Erin Molan has revealed an example of a despicable threat made against her daughter on social media. WARNING: Graphic
TV personality Erin Molan has revealed she feared going out because of vicious online trolling – but when she reported a threat to kill her unborn baby to Facebook, he told her he didn’t. did not meet the “inappropriate” content threshold.
The 39-year-old Sky News contributor relayed countless examples of sickening abuse – including someone writing that she would rape her two-year-old child – while giving evidence in a powerful investigation on Tuesday parliamentarian on social media and online safety.
Molan said she was inundated with terrifying messages after she started hosting The Footy Show and quickly became nervous about leaving her house.
“Not things like we don’t like watching you, but things like we want to make sure you die, I’m going to hit you with a bus,” she said.
“It made me fear for my safety, it made me nervous about going out.”
The single mother began to cry as she spoke of how she had been through a lot in her private life and despite her resilience and the support of her family, the trolling became too much.
“When you’re subjected to something so often and for so long and it’s so repetitive and so awful, even the strongest people in the world can start to believe that maybe it’s kind of true,” he said. she declared.
“But once I realized that Mother Teresa could build an orphanage in Botswana, and they would keep going online and annihilate her completely, once I realized that it was happening to dozens of thousands of other people, it’s awful, but I took some comfort in the fact that I wasn’t really all they say I am.
She said the world’s first bill that would force social media companies to disclose the identities of trolls in defamation cases was important to take away their power.
She also said new powers given to the Electronic Safety Commissioner in the Online Safety Act – which will come into force from Sunday – which could lead to a fine for cyber abuse would be effective.
She said it would set a minimum standard of behavior and hopefully filter down to make things better from a societal perspective, leading by example.
“The personal impact of this on people, we’ve seen people commit suicide, we’ve seen children try to kill themselves, we’ve seen many lives ruined by this kind of behavior,” she said.
“It’s not weak, it’s not for vulnerable people, it’s not for people who aren’t resilient, strong people are absolutely devastated and torn apart by this kind of behavior from anonymous trolls.
“If you take away their anonymity and take away their power and all of a sudden the level playing field is again and that’s what it takes.”
Molan said that in the past she felt essentially helpless to do anything about the horrific abuse and like banging her head against a brick wall when dealing with social media giants.
“Facebook, I reported horrible posts from an account, it kept getting recreated, I blocked it and it would recreate,” she said.
“I remember Facebook sent me a response to one of the reporting mechanisms I used on a message, it was about trying to kill my child in my stomach (when I was pregnant) .
“They came back to me and said it didn’t meet the threshold for inappropriate behavior.”
She said the person being abused online shouldn’t have to leave social media – the perpetrators should.
“It was never good enough for me, being on social media is such a big part of what we do, being online is such a big part of how we live our lives now,” he said. she declared.
“A lot of what we do is online, why should I walk away because someone tells me they’re going to rape my two-year-old?
“Why do I have to leave a platform I use professionally because someone is threatening to rape my child?
“Get them off the platform.