Twitter trolls: The celebrities who've been driven off social media by abuse

December 15, 2014 – 08:01 am

What was once a tool for celebrities to engage in self-promotion and direct interaction with their adoring public, has become a poisoned chalice - with many handing over control of their profiles to managements teams if - and when - they do return.

Here are just a few famous faces who have quit Twitter (not all for good).

Zelda Williams

This summer, Robin Williams’s grieving daughter signed off Twitter and Instagram following her father’s tragic suicide. The reason? Trolls who taunted her – posting Photoshopped pictures said to show Williams’s body in a morgue (it was actually another man) and with bruises around his neck. Zelda was branded a ‘heartless b*****’.

The 25-year-old said she was left "shaking" after reading the comments and had suffered from "cruel and ‘unnecessary criticism".

Little wonder she posted the following farewell on August 13: 'I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.'

Lily James

Even Downton Abbey stars can’t escape trolling (seriously, even the Sunday evening period drama have become a target now).

During the latest series, James – who plays Lady Rose MacClare in the series – admitted that she’d left Twitter due to the wave of abuse she’d received online.

James, 25, told: "I was surprised people had an opinion about me, but now I don't want to engage with that stuff.”

Jane Goldman

The screenwriter deleted her account in March this year, after wading into an argument to defend her family. Her husband, Jonathan Ross, received online abuse after being announced as the host of a sci-fi awards ceremony. Fans of the genre took to social media to complain that Ross had, in the past, made ‘fat jokes’ about women and wasn’t a suitable host.

The couple’s 17-year-old daughter, Honey Kinney, stepped in and tweeted: “I’m Jonathan’s overweight daughter and I assure you there are few men more kind & sensitive towards women’s body issues.”

Ross then pulled out as host of the Hugo Awards.

Goldman, 43, hit back: “Reading all your yay! women! tweets this morning, while you rudely ignore a real, live 17 yr old girl ... whom you hurt deeply with your words, is jaw-dropping.

“You falsely accuse her father of sizeism, she gathers the courage to speak to a bullying adult with 12.5k followers ... and you ignored her and casually blathered on about the Oscars. Don’t worry about the three real women whose weekend you ruined (me and my daughters).”

After which, she closed her account – leaving it to her husband to announce her farewell.


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