Blogger’s torment: ‘They told me to die’
BLOGGER Elle Darby has revealed her torment in a new video as her very public clash with a hotel owner escalates.
The social media star was brought to tears when discussing the "wave of abuse" she has received since Dublin hotel owner Paul Stenson ridiculed her online for asking for a free stay in return for coverage on her YouTube and Instagram pages.
Yesterday, Mr Stenson fuelled the flames even further by posting on his Facebook page a tongue-in-cheek invoice for millions of dollars he said he would be sending to Darby. She has fired back with a video she hopes will finally put an end to the saga.
"I've been torn up as to whether or not I should make this second video," Darby said in the video. "It was supposed to be a joke ... it hasn't been fair."
She continues to voice her unhappiness about the way Mr Stenson dealt with her business proposal, and his failure to protect her identity on his scathing Facebook post.
"A very simple way to have gone about it would have been a no and for the email to have been ignored instead of me having death threats and cancer wishes," she said.
The blogger teared up as she discussed the extent of the hateful messages she's received.
"I've never ever had what I've had over the last few days of my life and to be continuing like this has been really overwhelming. People telling me that I should die, that they hope my children get cancer, I've been called almost every name under the sun, words that I didn't even know existed."
Darby also revealed she has been suffering with anxiety since being propelled into the spotlight.
"I just think it's about time that people started to take responsibility for what they're saying over a screen ... words can have a very negative impact on somebody's mental state.
"I went to my GP and discussed the anxiety that has hit me ... it just felt like it had swallowed me up."
However she is trying to focus on the positives, ending the video with a message of thanks to those who have shown her kindness.
"Although this situation has been tormenting for me in a way, I am glad that it's helped bring the blogging community together in some way. Awareness has been raised about this industry, the way people act online."
DEALING WITH CYBER BULLYING
For those facing cyber bullying, the Australian Human Rights Commission offers these tips:
• Do not share your private information like passwords, name and address, phone numbers with people you don't know. This can also include sharing of photos of yourself, your friends and your family
• Don't respond to messages when you are angry or hurt - either to strangers and also to people you know. This will often encourage them to continue or increase their harassment of you
•Log out and stop messaging if you feel you are being harassed
•Remember you have the option to block, delete and report anyone who is harassing you online and on your mobile
•Find out how to report bullying and harassment on each of the different social networks that you use
•Keep a record of calls, messages, posts and emails that may be hurtful or harmful to you
Remember to set up the privacy options on your social networking sites like Facebook in a way you are comfortable with.
Each state and territory in Australia has different laws for bullying.
According to new research by UNICEF, almost a fifth of Australian teenagers have experienced cyber-bullying and been exposed to inappropriate content on the internet.