Recently, the management of South Korean pop group BTS revealed that they would be leaning on fans and South Korea’s defamation law to crack down on malicious cyberbullying on social media. On June 29, BigHit—BTS’ management—released a post on Weverse sharing that they’ve filed criminal complaints against postings with personal attacks and defamation and will be turning to fans to report and monitor comments about the band.
Cyberbullying is the act of harassing or bullying someone by electronic means. Celebrities tend to be prime targets for cyberbullying on social media platforms because of the anonymity these platforms provide.
Unsurprisingly, BTS aren’t the only celebrities who Internet trolls and haters have targeted. Below, we share some stars who have been hurt by cyberbullying.
Justin and Hailey Bieber
Justin Bieber and his wife, Hailey, have been victims of intense cyberbullying. Since starting his career at the tender age of 14, Justin has been scrutinized for various things, including his appearance, voice, and answers in interviews. In his documentary, Justin Bieber: Next Chapter, Justin revealed that he struggled with suicidal thoughts and experienced depression and feelings of loneliness.
Hailey, on the other hand, has been cyberbullied relentlessly for her involvement with Justin, her appearance, and her family. Hailey, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, has been pitted against Justin’s ex, Selena Gomez, countless times by Internet trolls.
The couple said that their faith had helped them through difficult times. Hailey also shared that staying off social media helps her, too.
Former UK national diver, Tom Daley, knows a thing or two about being cyberbullied. Following his final dive at the London Olympics in 2012, Tom received hurtful comments from trolls. Some of the abusive messages talked about how much of a disappointment Tom is to the country and his father, who passed away just a year before. Tom and his partner, Dustin Lance Black, have also received hateful homophobic comments. In an interview, Tom shares that he walks away after posting anything on social media.
Selena Gomez was so affected by cyberbullying that she stayed off the internet for over four years. Following her breakup with Justin Bieber, trolls quickly spread rumors and targeted Selena with abusive comments. At one point, she contemplated suicide.
Since staying off social media, Selena admits that she’s a lot happier, more present, and connects more with people.
Adele hasn’t been spared by cyberbullies either. The incredible singer has been criticized for her weight, looks, and parenting style. When she gave birth to her son, haters on Twitter were quick to say they didn’t even know she was pregnant because she was overweight. Despite this, Adele continues to use social media but avoids looking at comments.
The young singer was at the center of many celebrity controversies. One such event was the famous spat she had with rapper Kanye West. Following their very public incident, people were quick to call her a snake. However, according to Taylor, she’s been dealing with cyberbullies for a long time. To help her cope, she often channels her unhappiness into writing music.
The Ghost Busters actress was compared to apes and other animals on Twitter by malicious Internet trolls. Her abuse was so bad that celebrities and fans rallied around her to spread the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ to show her that she is indeed loved and cared for. After taking a break from social media, Leslie was back in action and was determined to show bullies they could not bring her down.
Cyberbullying is a huge problem and affects various people differently. If you know someone who’s been a victim of cyberbullying, attempt to reach out to them and see if there’s a way you could help them. If you’ve been cyberbullied, avoid engaging with the bully and always block and report them.