TV personality Charlotte Dawson
TV personality Charlotte Dawson Contributed

Force gutless bullies out

MAYBE it's just me, but I find it hard to imagine a world without social media these days.

I struggle to remember a time probably just seven years ago when I had to keep in contact with friends and family without the aid of Facebook.

It was a lot simpler than it is now, and it's the world I'm starting to think we could go back to.

Cyber bullying reared its ugly head into the headlines this past week when TV presenter Charlotte Dawson become the target of vicious and abusive "death tweets".

The simple act of sticking up for herself and shaming her anonymous attacker (who is not so anonymous anymore) has lead to an internet barrage of abusive death threats.

It led her to hospital, and it made me feel sick.

To have what would feel to be the entire online community calling for you to die must be a harrowing thing.

And it's certainly not a one-off incident.

Just last month, Olympic diver Tom Daley was sent malicious messages after placing fourth in his event.

It brought out some 17-year-old punk who told Daley he had let his dead father down and even made mentions of drowning the young diver.

For all the good social media has done, and still has the potential to do, it's sad to see a few using it as a weapon against their fellow human beings.

These bullies, these sad few who have nothing better to do than pick on others to try to make themselves feel better, are using it as a means to strike at their victims from the shadows.

I'm no stranger to this behaviour - I was bullied for my weight throughout primary school and to an extent, into high school.

But I always knew those who picked on me, because back then if you wanted to bully someone it had to be face-to-face, there was no where to hide.

I couldn't imagine going through school now, in a world with social media and even SMS, where you can bully someone without having to face up to them.

Some schools have already begun banning students from Facebook, but why punish everyone when it's a minority without the brain power to run it?

They're a pack of faceless trolls who think hiding behind a computer screen makes them a big person.

Bullying is nothing new, and I don't see it being stamped out any time soon.

Let's just start by taking these tools away from the bullies until they can learn to play nicely with others.

If you haven't got the guts to put your name and photo to an opinion then you don't deserve the luxury of the online world the rest of us enjoy.