Twitter victim, Charlotte Dawson, tonight revealed the ferocity of the death threats that she recieved in a paid interview with 60 Minutes. The 46 year old ended up in St Vincent’s Hospital after she tweeted “you win x” with a picture of a hand holding tablets at 2.07am on Wednesday night. Her attempt at suicide highlights the severity of cyber bullying.
Here is the interview.
Tara Brown – Are you up to looking at some of those tweets and reading them out?
Charlotte Dawson – Yes absolutely because I want to show people what sort of scum is out there.
* Please put your face into a toaster #diecharlotte
* Freedom of speech you fucking bimbo, go kill yourself.
* Please do the world a favour and go hang yourself #diecharlotte.
* I speak for everyone in the universe, bitch you need to kill yourself
* You putrid piece of shit, never forget go and kill yourself
* Go kill yourself you stupid whore#diecharlotte – accompanied by a picture of a mutilated child
TB – Why did you keep reading it?
CD – It kept going and going and going. It’s directed at me. have you ever gone up to someone on the street and said that to them? Noone i know would do that to anyone. When you work in a public environment like the media, you do have to have a thick skin andyou do understand that no matter what you do, even if you are Mother Theresa, people are still going to hate you because they think your ugly or don’t like the sound of your voice. Sometimes, especially if people are wanting you to kill yourself, when you have previously tried to end your life, it’s very easy to feel like thats exactly what you want to do.
TB – Do they really mean what they say do you think? (Including death threats)
CD – Um, the ferocity of these tweets.. so to me yeah, i have to be very honest without trying to sound like a boo-hoo poor me that I have felt that becaause I am quite public and because people know where I am, that my safety could be in danger. Because these tweets are very serious.
TB – So even though you are used to receiving them, youv’e had them for a while, they still shocked you? And they still scare you?
CD – I’ve never had death threats to this ferocity, I’ve never had a campaign to this ferocity. My tweets are usually about how old I am, how ugly I am or how I failed at my marriage, or how I can’t have children or how I’m a spinster, or how I’m plastic. It’s usually appearance stuff.
TB – All charming!
CD – Yeah, it’s the usual woman on TV vitriole. It’s what I’m used to. I’m not used to an entire campaign of being told to kill myself.
After the tweet Charlotte sent saying “You win x” all she remembers is the police and ambulance taking her to hospital.
TB – So your actions were an attempt to end your own life? They weren’t a publicity stunt, an attempt to sell your book? They weren’t an attempt to seek sympathy?
CD – I understand why you are asking that question but I think it’s…I don’t find it an insulting question but if I was doing some publicity stunt I would choose probably a little bit of a different time. I would probably be sitting in front of you with full hair and makeup, looking glamorous and be poor me, poor me. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying people need to be extremely responsible, if they can be when they are online, to encourage people to end their lives because big old opinionated tough Charlotte, can sometimes be punched down too. As I said, I was and I am happy to talk about that to my peril.
TB – The aim was to die.
CD – I believe so, I was very drunk. I was extremely distraught, it just triggered that feeling of helplessness, it got to me, that got the better of me and they won.
(Interview with cyber bully expert who described it as a feeding frenzy)
TB – Is it fair to say you play in this world, you dish it out and therefore you are a hypocrite for complaining about it?
CD – There’s always going to be bantering and arguing, bitchiness. There’s going to be humour, there’s going to be sarcasm. I accept that sort of thing, I’ve just never seen it taken to the actual level it was taken to.
TB – So you have never been abusive, you’ve never bullied?
CD – I don’t think so, I think people diminish what bullying is. Bullying is extremely threatening behaviour that is constant and makes people feel threatened and terrified. I can’t think of anyone I have done that to.
CD – There are consequences, people can be traced. I have contacted the police and had lengthy discussions with them today. They are using devices, mobile devices, Ipads, computers in order to vilify and intimidate so there are consequences.
TB – I guess you hope that they’ll be charged?
CD – I’d like to see them charged, yeah. I don’t think encouraging people to end their lives is funny or clever.
TB – I wonder if this is going to silence you?
CD – I’m not giving up my career.
TB – Does it frighten you? Does it make you think twice about what you say and what you think?
CD – I don’t think I’d back off out of fear of retribution. It’s just the retribution for my actions has been so severe they have hospitalised me. So they have had a win and I congratulate them for that if that’s what they wanted. But I’m not dead yet.
If you are feeling depressed or need help please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.