Caroline Flack: 'Social media kindness day' held in TV presenter's memory

  • Watch this video report by Matt Price

People are being urged to use social media kindly today in memory of Caroline Flack.

Social Media Kindness Day takes place on what would have been the Norfolk-born TV presenter's 41st birthday.

She died on February 15 last year, and a coroner concluded she had taken her own life.

In the wake of her death, many social media users adopted the #BeKind hashtag Flack had used in her final Instagram post, in which she wrote: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

Caroline Flack died at home in February 2020 Credit: PA

Social Media Kindness Day was set up by Mayah Riaz last year in a bid for more protection for social media users.

She said: "When I started Social Media Kindness Day I was inundated in my inbox of stories of people who've been abused online just by putting themselves out there and having an account.

"You call [the abusers] 'keyboard warriors' because they are relentless and they will not stop."

As part of the campaign, people are being asked to call out abuse online and report it, and check on those it is targeted at.

A recent report from YouGov has found:

Hayley Forster started receiving abuse on social media when she began documenting her recovery from Covid-19.

She said: "I felt very confused at first because I didn't expect the comments to come at me and I felt very upset. I had comments coming from different angles making me feel so insecure and whether I was overreacting."

She is calling on social platforms to make it easier to report and permanently ban people who make derogatory remarks towards others.

Dr Liam Gilligan, a Clinical Psychologist from Cambridge said: "We know from the research that cyberbullying and negativity on social media is linked with anxiety, depression, self-harm, body image problems, comparing yourself negatively with others, anger and aggression.

"Because they are now carrying their phone with them at all times, what this means is that there are opportunities to be bullied and harassed at all times."

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If you need help and support, call Mind's helpline or the Samaritans on 116 123. 

Both services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.