I have learned never to read the comments section of YouTube or any news website. It is horrific to see that two days after Robin Williams’ death, the trolls come out to play, sitting behind computer screens, posting disgusting and offensive comments all over the internet. The online bullying forced Zelda, Robin William’s 25-year-old daughter, to delete her Instagram and Twitter.
While reading articles for references to put in my previous blog post, I made the mistake of scrolling down to the comments section of an article. The comments were so vile that I decided to find a different article to cite. The comments I saw? One online troll wrote that anyone who killed themselves would burn in hell, and another said that anyone who is angry at Shepard Smith’s comments about Robin Williams should “go find a rope and a chair.” I’m not kidding.
Bullying has existed for generations, unfortunately, but online bullying is so awful because of how easy it is, and how difficult it is to regulate. In light of Robin Williams’ death, I feel sad that human beings out there are positing negative comments online and attacking his family. It makes my stomach sick.
Many people have experienced trolls, including bloggers, but I cannot imagine being attacked online after the sudden and tragic death of a family member. I think it was a good move for Zelda to step away from social media, but I wish our online world was kind. It is so unfair that someone who is going through unimaginable grieve is bullied. The stigma surrounding depression and suicide needs to end so that we can help those suffering, but the fight for ending that stigma will be difficult with all the trolls lurking online.
From now on I will refrain from reading the comments section of most websites because there are twisted people in this world who have ten fingers, a keyboard, and internet access. I kindly ask all the trolls out there to go to a corner, away from a computer or phone, sit down, and shut up.