ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue: Internet trolls hiding behind keyboards are not brave, they're bullies

Vogue: Internet trolls hiding behind keyboards are not brave, they're bullies

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the dog meat industry in Asia.

It’s a topic I’m very passionate about and want to do anything I can to highlight – and stop – what is going on.

After watching a movie and seeing all the horrific scenes about how the dogs are tortured, I wanted to help. But I most definitely didn’t want to see any of the images again because they’re engrained in my mind.

A few activists in America thanked me for my article, but then began bom­barding my timeline with pictures of dogs being tortured, skinned alive and beheaded.

After about 10 tweets, I decided to ask them to stop sending the pictures as they were upsetting me. I immediately got accused of not caring and got other troll-like tweets.

It got me thinking about trolling and the mentality behind it. It’s essentially online bullying, but it’s mainly people tweeting an opinion based on nothing.


I’ve seen so many articles with com­ments saying ‘don’t like her, she’s this, she’s that’ and they all make me laugh.

They make me laugh because they’re all coming from people I’ve never met before, so they’re based on an article that could have no real facts in it.

To hate someone you’ve never met is quite strong; I dislike a few people, but hate is a word too strong for anyone I dislike.

I guess an internet troll is someone who clearly has far too much time on their hands and in my mind they are in­credibly unhappy and negative people.

You only get what you give out so if you constantly give out negative energy it’s all you will receive in return.

I’ve seen other girls in my industry get trolled and I would call it what it is – bullying. Holly Carpenter was recently berated online for an article she wrote.

I saw horrible things all over the inter­net and I’ve met Holly, who is a lovely, intelligent and funny girl and I’m sure everything that was writ­ten upset her. She most certainly didn’t deserve it.

It’s just sad to see that this is what our culture has become. Gone are the days where you pat someone on the back for doing well.

I know a lot of people will think that because I live my life in the public eye, whatever that means, that I should ex­pect people to offer opinions.

I do respect people’s opinions and if they’re to do with my TV show I would always take them on board because it’s good to know what people think.

I just think an opinion based on an­ything other than fact is pointless. We all grew up with our mothers telling us ‘treat someone how you would like to be treated’ and I swear by the saying ‘it’s nice to be nice’!

This week it was revealed that a major­ity of parents don’t monitor the internet use of kids as young as six.

It’s hard to see school children being bullied online and there have even been horrific stories of some taking their own life because of it.

There should be a way to police these web bullies and if there was I doubt they would be so forthcoming with the abuse.

They may be the big person behind their keyboard, but I doubt they would be so brave if people knew who they were.

I would Jump at the chance to do show

I went to Austria to see Brian at the Jump on Thursday. He wanted me to go and watch one of the live shows so my cousin Cass and I decided to make a little ski holiday out of it.

I’m obsessed with snowboarding, but haven’t done it in a couple of years so couldn’t wait to get over.

We skied all day and then we went out with some of the cast in the evening. There wasn’t very many of them left, though, because they seem to be dropping like flies.

It’s definitely the most dangerous reality show on TV, but I would definitely do it.

I’d love to spend a month learning how to ski jump and everything else they get to do – essentially it’s a paid ski holiday. Just saying!