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Charlotte Dawson fights back against Twitter trolls
Charlotte Dawson fights back against Twitter trolls

TV personality Charlotte Dawson is fighting back against online bullies by publicly exposing them as Twitter trolls.

The 46-year-old host was driven to attempt suicide by her online tormentors in August this year.

She is now campaigning to shame the trolls and support other victims who suffer abuse from strangers who hide behind their computers.

One of her tormentors was 20-year-old Jordan McGuire who sent her abusive messages on Twitter as she recovered from a suicide attempt.

He sends messages like that to people he doesn't know on Twitter from behind the safety of his keyboard.

Jordan says he mainly targets celebrities, like Guy Sebastian and Jack Vidgen who won Australia's Got Talent.

"I suppose the first thing I want to say is I'm face to face with you now. If I turned around to you and said F**K YOU YA C**T how do you feel?" Charlotte asked the young troll.

He says: "They're just things that I say. They're things that I say on twitter and twitter isn't real life."

But for the trolls' targets, it's very real and almost caused Charlotte to end her life.

Caspian Shields is another troll who's attacked Charlotte and others online.

“I stand by the fact you know I do say a lot of things that aren't very nice,” he told Charlotte.

When she asked where that comes from, he responded: “It doesn't come from anywhere in particular, it just comes.”

He thinks that people like Charlotte should ‘put up with it’.

“I think that you know being in the public eye you are going to get abuse,” he said.

Sydney truck driver Ian Cameron says he isn’t a serial troll, however he did call Charlotte a **ut on twitter while she was recovering.

“There's real life you and internet you. Yeah I gain a bit more confidence on the internet,” he says.

“It's fair game if they put themselves out in the media. I think they should be prepared to cop some slack.”

Charlotte fights back
Charlotte's response has been to expose the trolls, by forwarding their abuse to her tens of thousands of followers.

Caspian said to Charlotte: ‘You posted where I work to 22,000 people to see all over twitter.”

Charlotte’s comeback? “It's just exposing the nasty, it's not bullying you it's exposing you for what you are.”

Jordan was similarly outraged by her moves to stamp out online bullying.

"I don't necessarily mean what I tweet half the time it's what I, what it's... What my twitter is, is basically just a bit of fun,” he told Charlotte.

Charlotte’s response was that most people find the tweets highly offensive.

“They can't understand the mindset behind them or the logic behind them, how do you feel about that?” she asked Jordan.

“Well again that's their interpretation,” he responded.

"I can understand why some people would think that was disrespectful. However, I have a very, very dull sense of what is disrespectful and what isn't because I'm just desensitised to it and that's what the majority of GenY is."

Critics say the online generation has the ability to scream whatever they want to the world with complete anonymity and no repercussions.

Charlotte told 7News: "The thing that I got out of visiting these people and them agreeing to talk to us is the fact that their online bravado is completely polar opposite to what they are."

Caspian agrees: “I think after all this, I would definitely like reconsider certain things that I say to people.”

As for Jordan: “I apologise to anyone who's taken offence to my tweets however that's not my interpretation.”

If you are subjected to cyber-bullying, visit beyondblue.org.au or call Lifeline on 131 114.

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