‘Sick of it’: Disgusted Molan lets loose
Channel 9 presenter Erin Molan has issued an emotional plea to punish vicious social media trolls while revealing some of the horrific messages she receives.
Speaking on WSFM 101.7's Jonesy and Amanda, the NRL host was responding to questions about the shocking personal rumours being spread online about Broncos coach Anthony Seibold when she launched into a passionate spiel about the need to hold people accountable for their actions.
Molan is no stranger to social media attacks, saying she has been sent messages including "your daughter will die", "you should die" and "I will ensure you and your daughter die". But when she's taken those to the eSafety Commission, she's been told there's nothing the authorities can do.
Molan blasted the despicable trolling of Seibold, who has hired lawyers and European cybersecurity experts to trace the origin of the smear campaign against him, and praised the coach for taking action into his own hands.
"Some of these rumours that have been circulating and some of the trolling that he has received has been some of the vilest that I've ever seen, and I've seen some pretty vile stuff and I've been the recipient of some pretty vile stuff," Molan said.
"I am so glad that he is taking action, I'm so glad that he has got lawyers. I'm so glad that he has got cyber experts from overseas.
"Trolling is not someone not liking you. Trolling is not someone going online and saying, 'Erin I don't like your dress' or 'Erin I don't like you'. That's not trolling.
"Trolling is vile, repeated harassment. It is threatening, it is so serious … Things need to change."
Molan said too much of the discussion around online abuse has been focused on the victims, who are often told to ignore or block trolls. Instead, she wants the emphasis put on the perpetrators, demanding threats of jail or huge fines to warn faceless keyboard warriors of the serious repercussions they should face.
"The whole conversation around trolling at the moment is for the victim. Block them, ignore them, report them, got off social media," Molan said.
"No! I'm sorry, that's not good enough.
"Social media is really important for a lot of people. You should not have to get offline because you are being trolled. We need to change the conversation, we need to be saying to perpetrators, 'You can go to jail, you can be fined, you can be sued for defamation for hundreds of thousands of dollars'.
"This conversation needs to change.
"I'm sick of people telling victims to get off social media or to ignore them. We need to have campaigns out there that say to people, 'You can go to jail if you make things up that ruin people's reputations. You can go to jail if you threaten someone's life'.
"I know I'm fired up about this, I get very passionate about it, because this has to be a line in the sand moment.
"Trolling and bullying and the abuse of people online will never stop unless people think they will be accountable for their actions."
Molan also called on the NRL to take a stand.
"The NRL should put its massive weight behind some kind of campaign and movement that changes the conversation around this so we're no longer looking at victims and saying, 'Just block them, just get offline'," Molan said.
"No! Go away, that's not right.
"Let's look at perpetrators. Let's scare the 'bleep' out of perpetrators because they need to know there are consequences to their actions.
"So let's make there be consequences to their actions and then let's tell people about the consequences."
Originally published as 'Sick of it': Disgusted Molan lets loose