I have to admit I am not a fan of Love Island as a show, it isn’t my cup of tea at all. That said, I am aware of the show and was aware of Caroline Flack as the host of it.

 

To hear she has taken her own life age 40 is just awful, and on the back of hearing about my friend Kieran a couple of weeks ago this has really affected me.

 

When will something be done to stop people writing and spouting off pure vitriol online at others? When will something be done to stop these awful people who think it is perfectly acceptable to write words to others that are cruel, damaging and in the majority of cases absolutely untrue? When will we all stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

 

I have been subjected to the most vile abuse online, including comments that are completely untrue about me, so I know what I’m talking about. I know how soul destroying it is, and believe me I also felt like I no longer wanted to be here as a result, but I rose above the comments from the online trolls, as hard as it was to do. The line in the song “Cleaning Out My Closet” by Eminem is particularly true for me, “Have you ever been hated or discriminated against, I have…I’ve been protested and demonstrated against.”

 

In the culture of “celebrity” that we live in today, the media seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to write whatever they like about people, and this applies to anyone who dares to put their head above the paraphet even a tiny bit to raise awareness of something that is important to them. The moment someone does that, they are considered “fair game” by the press in a bid for them to get more clicks, likes and most importantly – more money and more profit. In turn, opening up comments to the general public on online articles has created a whole new can of worms whereby people think they can act as judge, jury and executioner and that there will be no consequences whatsoever of their actions when they post negative, harmful, untrue and nasty comments about someone online. Unfortunately, there ARE consequences – as the passing of Caroline Flack has clearly shown.

 

 

Something MUST be done to stop this kind of online abuse. I would disable and ban any commenting on newspaper websites for a start – you only have to look at the Daily Mail online to see the level of nastiness that people think is perfectly acceptable to write with no consequences for what they write and their actions. But there are consequences and casualties – Caroline Flack being one of the latest ones. And the likes of the Daily Mail Online and The Sun does NOTHING to police these disgusting comments by members of the general public. Would these people say the things they say online to someone’s face? I surely don’t think so!

 

How many more deaths have to happen before people start thinking more about the consquences of their actions when posting vile and abusive comments online to others? What can be done to stop this kind of vile abuse online ? I don’t know what the answer is, as policing everything online would take such a huge amount of resources. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but they do NOT have the right to be nasty and abusive. What a sorry state the world has become today.

 

Please, if you are reading this, think before you type. Please be kind. Please STOP before you post something to someone and think about how you would feel if you received the words you are about to post.

 

Kindness should prevail….always.

#RIPCarolineFlack

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Lisa Ventura is an award-winning Cyber Security consultant and is the CEO and Founder of the UK Cyber Security Association (UKCSA), a membership association that is dedicated raising awareness and educating small businesses, SME’s, large corporate companies and the general public as to the importance of cyber security. Lisa is also a thought leader, author and keynote speaker and has been published in various publications globally. She is fascinated by all things related to nuclear war and loves dogs, the gym/keep fit, the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury, sci-fi, films and TV series from the 1980s, especially American soap operas such as Dallas, Falcon Crest, Dynasty and Knots Landing.