We hate cyberbullying, so why are people turning a blind eye to Josie Cunningham being subjected to death threats?

The majority of the population are against cyberbullying, so why is it okay to send death threats to Josie Cunningham? It's time to talk about double standards...


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Josie Cunningham has come under fire for announcing that "an abortion will further my career" as it would mean she could appear in the next series of Big Brother.

"I'm finally on the verge of becoming famous and I'm not going to ruin it now.

"An abortion will further my career. This time next year I won’t have a baby. Instead, I'll be famous, driving a bright pink Range Rover and buying a big house.

"Nothing will get in my way."

Unsurprisingly, the majority of us were horrified by her comments. And, in response, the internet has been flooded with abusive tweets and comments about the wannabe star.

One tweet said that Josie deserves "nothing but torture", another called for her to be given "a lethal injection", one asked for her to be "shot", another called for her to have her private parts destroyed (gender mutilation, essentially), and another simply said "I hope you die".

Below you can see just how many people have been directly attacking Josie on Twitter:

"Shame your parents didn't abort you"
"Shame your parents didn't abort you"
"You need putting down you absolute cretin"
"I think alot of ppl want to end her life"

Despite how strongly they may feel about the subject of abortion, it is not okay for people to openly attack a woman on Twitter.

Paris Lee said in VICE: "I still may not agree with your motives, or how you choose to present yourself in the media, and you’re never gonna get a Pride of Britain award, babe. But you don’t deserve all that blind hate and death threats.

"Your boobs, by the way, are fine. The really ugly tits are the ones that have been bullying you."

Twitter is, essentially, a playground for bullies. People log on, make a comment and it disappears into cyberspace - they probably forget about it shortly after hitting 'tweet'.

But, for the people targeted in these tweets, they do not disappear. They bore into their soul, create bruises where we cannot see them and erode their self-worth… and, while Josie seems to be taking the comments in her stride, the repercussions of such behaviour can be devastating.

TV presenter Charlotte Dawson, 47, was found dead at her home in Sydney a few months ago, tragically becoming the "first celebrity victim of trolling".

She had tried to ignore the comments at first. She had tried to set up a campaign against cyberbullying - but, in the end, it became too much. Because being constantly subjected to the hate and opinions of hundreds and thousands is enough to damage the self-worth of any human being.

We know the majority of the population are vehemently against cyberbullying. We have seen them comment on how more stringent rules need to be put in place, on how the cyberbullies should be exposed and how there is nothing worse than a bully.

"There is just too much of this going on and hopefully something can be done"

So why have we deemed it as 'okay' to viciously attack people on Twitter for doing something we don't agree with?

Josie Cunningham has chosen to have an abortion for reasons of vanity, for fame and for publicity. But, in this country, women have the right to an abortion - and it is their choice to make. We can privately disagree with them, we can talk to them about their decision rationally, we can even debate the subject - but we can't suddenly become Twitter trolls, the very thing we all hate, just because someone is doing something we disagree with.

We can't start telling someone to go kill themselves, to go die, to be forced to undergo gender mutilation. Because that makes us as "vile" as the person we disagree with - and it forces us into the role of the cyberbully, whether we like it or not.

We're better than this. We're better than the people we disagree with. So let's not do double standards when it comes to cyberbullying.

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