Love Island's Amy Hart: 'Trolls have called me a psycho, ugly and waste of organs'
'Absolute waste of organs. Fake teeth, fake boobs, fake personality' - That's the message Amy Hart woke up to on social media, from a complete stranger.
Former Love Island contestant Amy Hart has said she's been branded a "waste of organs" and a "psycho" by online trolls but no longer reports the abusive messages she receives, as she believes social media companies won't take action .The 29-year-old former air stewardess, told an inquiry into influencer culture, she did not believe sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were supportive enough when it came to trolling. Appearing in front of MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday, Hart scrolled through her phone, reading an expletive-filled messages she had received.
Hart reads an abusive message she received on social media
Hart, who has 1.1 million Instagram followers, also revealed trolls had sent her messages saying: "fake boobs, fake teeth, your boyfriend deserves to know what a psycho you are".
Social media networks could do more to support those targeted by abuse, Hart believes. “I have reported some messages before and they come back saying, ‘We have looked at it and it doesn’t break community guidelines’ and I am like, ‘Look at that message!’".
“Look at this barrage of messages someone has sent me before 7 o’clock in the morning telling me how much they hate me, how awful I am, why everyone hates me, how ugly I am.
“From a fake account as well, a trolling account, a burner account, and you are telling me that doesn’t break policy?”
Hart added she was getting trolled by the likes of nurses, “people that have got husbands and children” and a 13-year-old. On the subject of youngsters, she said more needs to be done to protect them online.
'A 13-year-old messaged me asking for diet tips'
"I did a question box on my Instagram the other day and someone asked 'diet tips for 13-year-olds,'" she said.
She suggested social media companies strengthen their age verification process and prohibit under 16s viewing influencers whose "ethos isn't suitable for youngsters".
Hart also called for a standardised pricing structure based on how many followers an influencer has and their engagement that would dictate their work with brands.
She appeared alongside Nicole Ocran, a blogger and co-founder of The Creator Union, which advocates for digital creators.
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Ocran told the inquiry her union had reached out to social media networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram but had only received a response from image sharing site Pinterest. Speaking about trolling, she said: “From our perspective the platforms do not move fast enough – the don’t move at all.”
On Twitter, users may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so, and the site can limit the ability to post or suspend an account temporarily or permanently.
Instagram and Facebook both set out rules on “violating messages” which can be enforced through messaging restrictions and disabling accounts.