TV host exposes Twitter account of troll who harassed her for months with ‘sickening’ insults: ‘Nobody deserves to be treated this way’
- A Twitter troll was named this week by horse racing analyst Bella Anderson
- She said the account had been posting insults about her for over two months
- Supporters in and out of the racing industry reported the account and it was suspended
Horse race presenter Bella Anderson has exposed a cowardly Twitter user who used an anonymous account to spew “sickening” insults on her for several weeks.
The Melbourne-based assembly site analyst for Racing.com took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to call the parody account “BigBellasBest” after realizing it had used her photo to aggressively harass Ms Anderson for her racing tips and physical appearance.
“I can’t quite describe how I felt when I found this account, and even more so that industry participants are following it,” said Ms. Anderson.
“This is disgusting, sickening and extremely disturbing. It’s bullying and bullying. Please report this account, no one deserves to be treated like this,” she said of the tweets.
Horse racing analyst Bella Anderson (pictured) said she was deeply upset by a parody account full of persona insults aimed at her
The account was suspended after multiple people complained after Ms. Anderson’s post
Ms. Anderson received a wave of support from both people inside and outside the horse racing community.
‘Bella, you are great with your presentation and picking garden. It’s horrible the way these trolls behave,” wrote one race fan.
‘That’s disgraceful. I’m so sorry you had to go through all this. Good on you for calling them… Unbelievable,” wrote horse racing journalist Andrew Hawkins.
“Keep doing what you’re doing Bella, always love to listen to your insights and appreciate you always waving or stopping for a chat at the races. Online bullying and trolling is horrific, no one should be subjected to it,” added horse racing podcaster Ben Carbonaro.
Multiple users reported the account after Ms. Anderson’s tweet and Twitter banned it within three hours.
But Ms. Anderson later posted a follow-up saying there were more accounts posting just as abusive messages.
Many of those in the racing industry rushed to support Ms Anderson, telling her ‘keep up the good work’
Some aspects of social media were labeled a “palace of cowards” by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year.
He said there are places on the internet where trolls can act with impunity and threaten to forcefully regulate the sites if they don’t do it themselves.
The country’s e-Safety Commissioner was given additional powers earlier this year to require platforms to release the personal information of accounts the commissioner claims are bullying other users.
The Sydneysider said her ‘dream’ was to work as a horse racing commentator
According to Twitter’s user policy, the platform will “review and take action on reports from accounts that target an individual or group of people with abusive or threatening behavior.”
Such actions may include the blocking of selected tweets or “suspension of accounts that we have determined to be primarily abusive as defined in this policy, or who have shared violent threats.”
Twitter’s director of public policy for Asia-Pacific, Kara Hinesley, claimed that free speech was essential to the platform and that completely banning anonymous accounts would not reduce the amount of harassment.
Speaking at an event hosted by Twitter in 2021, she pointed to a 2004 South Korean law that required major websites to authenticate users.
“What actually happened was that the national identification numbers of 35 million South Koreans that had been stolen had been breached. So this law was repealed in 2012,’ she said.
Twitter’s own research from the UK found that 99 percent of suspended accounts were not anonymous.
Elon Musk, who is currently battling to acquire Twitter for $44 billion, said in April that he would “authenticate all real people” on the platform, but has yet to provide details.
Tech mogul Elon Musk (pictured) tries to buy Twitter, but there probably wouldn’t be a troll crackdown under him
The latest talks between Musk and Twitter appear to have been cut short in part as the tech mogul appeared to have intent to expose and shut down inauthentic or “bot” accounts.
However, he has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” so as long as users are verified people, there probably wouldn’t be a troll crackdown under him.
A US court has given Twitter and Musk until October 28 to complete the buyout negotiations.