When Ashley Judd used Twitter to support her favorite team in the March Madness college basketball tournament, she was sexually harassed by trolls. However, she is not taking it quietly and is vowing to fight back.
It all started on Sunday, when Judd — who was attending a game between her team, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Arkansas — took to Twitter from the stands. The actress thought Arkansas was “playing dirty” against her beloved Wildcats and shared that with her followers and the rest of the world.
Trolls — internet predators — came out of nowhere with vicious, sexually explicit replies. As shocking as this is, it’s nothing new in the world of Twitter, and Ashley Judd’s fame doesn’t protect her from the attackers.
Anyone who uses social media knows that what you say, especially when your tweets are not protected and you’re a celebrity, is fair play for trolls. Twitter has tools to block and report such individuals, who take advantage of their anonymity to use the most vile language to insult you for your opinions and call you all sorts of derogatory names without knowing anything about you.
Ashley Judd used Twitter again to tell the trolls exactly what she thought of their uncalled for tweets.
While a lot of people tweeted their shock and understanding, some suggested to “let it go” because this is “only Twitter.” However, Judd’s experience has sparked a national conversation about the big fat gorilla in the Twitter world: trolls.
Judd is threatening the Twitter attackers with legal action and is actively looking into those who threatened her with sexual violence. The comments are frankly shocking but not unheard of. This behavior shows the dark side of social media, where no rules are followed.
“Everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist,” Ashley Judd said of the Twitter trolls, adding, “And by the way, I’m pressing charges.”
Nobody can deny that Twitter has a problem with trolls. Even the company’s CEO, Dick Costolo, admitted to it in internal memos obtained by the Verge.
“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years. It’s no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.”
It remains to be seen what Ashley Judd can do to bring her Twitter abusers to justice, or whether she will file a suit against the company, but she is clearly not taking this situation quietly. Maybe this will finally mean the social media giant will come up with some solution to the troll problem.
[Photo courtesy of Ashley Judd/Twitter]