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Unmasking bullies Influencer Lisa McGowan on her battle against trolls who hounded her online

"I didn’t know where the threat was coming from. I needed to be able to go out and about and not be afraid"

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Lisa McGowan (from Instagram)

Lisa McGowan (from Instagram)

Lisa McGowan (from Instagram)

Insurance broker and fashion blogger Lisa McGowan has spoken about her battles to clear her name after she was targeted by anonymous trolls who hounded her online. 

The Tullamore businesswoman and fashion influencer had to take legal action in a bid to protect her name, as that is “all you have in life is your name. It was being maligned on social media”.

She told Oliver Callan on RTE radio about the “terrifying” experience as the bullies followed her every move online and even said they knew where she lived and where her car was parked.

"It was terrifying for me, it was terrifying for my parents,” she said.

“This was all anonymous, I didn’t know where the threat was coming from. I needed to be able to go out and about and not be afraid.”

Her hugely successful social media platform and website page Lisa’s Lust List has over 300,000 followers. She has recently launched her own pyjama range and has her own fragrance called The White By Lisa eau de parfum.

However, she began to be trolled by unidentified people through her fashion pages who were trying to destroy her reputation, she said.

She said these "very small individuals" would get up in the morning and type her name into their phone or computer to see what she was doing to comment.

"It was like an obsession. They would watch and re-watch. I just don’t get it," said Lisa.

"I know I am not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. I know it’s part of my job to get negative comments but there was a line."

However, when the trolls claimed she had stolen money raised for charity and even contacted hotels and brands and threatened to boycott them, Lisa said she had to protect her name.

Lisa said she was worried "what if people start believing this? I needed to claim back my own name”.

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"I went to the highest court in the land, and that highest court believed me," she said.

Lisa described those who carried out the online attacks as "begrudging bitter people."

It was her father’s advice to “unmask” the bullies that made her decide that no matter what it was going to cost her, she was going to do it.

"It was a personal win for me. It's not just for me, there are so many other people out there that maybe couldn’t do that. I needed to raise awareness of how much it hurts and upsets people. I had no choice but to take them on."

Lisa said "the minute it was published the anonymous accounts closed down, But it was too late at that stage because we had got all the IT addresses. The legal team were working away in the background taking screenshots. The more that was written about me the bigger the case was becoming."

"I had to pay my own side,” she added. “But if you don't have your name you have nothing. Wouldn’t you spend anything to clear your name?

"I got through. It’s 2021. It’s underlined all the positives in my life. I have got practical and emotional support from all the brands I work for. My followers have been a powerful support for me. Thank God my business is going really well now. The truth always comes out in the end.

“Through the courts, I got apology letters. One of them went into four pages.

"So this is what I can’t understand. Somebody was trying to ruin me online but once they were found out, once we had got a name that they would write me a four-page apology letter. Thank God I haven’t had any more online abuse."

"Fast fingers do have consequences. You have got to be accountable for what you write online," said Lisa. "This anonymous fake profiling has to stop."

When Oliver Callan asked her if she was planning to sue those involved., she said: "I can’t say as it’s with my legal team."

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