DON’T GIVE UP: Home business owner Kate Kiernan joined other Gladstone community voices in urging Emma Thompson not to succumb to Facebook bullies.
DON’T GIVE UP: Home business owner Kate Kiernan joined other Gladstone community voices in urging Emma Thompson not to succumb to Facebook bullies. Nicky Moffat

‘Don’t let the bullies win’

BUSINESSWOMAN Kate Kiernan has urged Emma Thompson to stand by her online business selling clothes for larger women.

Community support has flooded in for Ms Thompson, after The Observer revealed on Tuesday the Calliope woman was forced to close her online business after a tirade of abusive comments on Facebook.

"She's getting bullied by people who basically don't like what she does," said Ms Kiernan, who has run her own business from home and at the Beach Arts and Music market for the past five years.

"My suggestion was she make up an eBay account because they don't tolerate that type of behaviour to start with."

The Glen Eden resident was one of many people to come forward after she read the story in The Observer.

Ms Thompson said she had been overwhelmed and excited by the public response, and was considering whether she could re-start her business as well as run her Strangers United Against Bullying campaign.

"(I wanted) to protect other people from what was happening to them (on her site)," she said.

Bundaberg woman Tracy Barritt said she suffered abuse when she posted a photo of herself online in Evalong Boulevard competition.

"I got disgusting comments on my photos...(such as) 'you're ugly' and 'nobody would ever want you because you're so fat'," she said.

Ms Barritt said she had jumped at the chance to buy online from a store that provided unique, well- designed items.

She said she had a thick skin, as she had been subjected to similar abuse all her life, but it was hurtful to be attacked after it took a lot of courage to post a photo of herself.

"I'm not one to put myself out there normally, because of my size," she said.



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