Sports

Erin Molan details horrific online abuse at social media inquiry

Television personality Erin Molan has revealed an example of a vile threat made against her daughter on social media. WARNING: Graphic

Television and radio personality Erin Molan has revealed an anonymous troll threatened to rape her two-year-old daughter online, before breaking down when speaking about the “horrific” abuse directed at her.

The 39-year-old Sky News contributor told a parliamentary inquiry into social media and online safety on Tuesday that after she began working on the The Footy Show, she was inundated with messages that made her fear from her safety.

“The things that were sent directly to me on platforms I used professionally were just horrific,” she said.

“Not things like we don’t like watching you, but things like we want to ensure you die, I’ll hit you with a bus.

“It made me fear for my safety, it made me nervous about going outside.

“The detail in which people would send me things they would hope to do to myself or my child. it starts to get really heavy.”

The single mother started to cry when speaking about how she’d gone through a lot in her private life.

“And as someone who has been through a fair bit privately, I never thought I would fall into the category of someone that would be badly affected by what someone anonymous would write either about me or to me online,” she said.

Molan said that it made her start to think about how badly the online abuse would affect someone who didn’t have the support systems and privilege she’d had throughout her life.

She said that social media was such a huge part of people’s lives she would not accept the argument that if you don’t like it you should get off it.

“Social media is such a big part of what we do, being online is such a huge part of how we live our lives now, so much of what we do is online,” she said.

“Why should I get off because someone is telling me they’re going to rape my two-year-old child?

“Why do I have to get off a platform I use professionally because someone’s threatening to rape my child?

“Get them off the platform.”

The online safety campaigner said one of the catalysts that made her want to start speaking out was what happened to former Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, who was driven out of the game by vicious internet trolls.

”What really resonated with me about his story, and he was targeted in some really vile attacks on social media, was the fact he was not even on social media himself,” she said.



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