Robin Williams' Daughter Leaves Twitter Following Online Abuse

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Robin Williams' Daughter Leaves Twitter Following Online Abuse

Twitter is now investigating how to change its user-protection policies after two of the internet's worst sent Zelda Williams abusive messages, including a Photoshopped image showing father Robin Williams' bruised, dead body.

There has been an outpouring of goodwill from the vast majority of the internet following the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. However, amidst all the well-wishes, a few people have decided to kick the late actor's daughter, Zelda Williams, while she's down.

In the days after her father's death was discovered, 25-year old Zelda Williams received threatening messages from two Twitter users. Both accounts have since been suspended by Twitter, but not before they sent several messages to Zelda Williams, including one with a Photoshopped image of her father's dead, bruised body that appeared to be in a morgue. One of the users also apparently sent Zelda Williams messages, since deleted, that blamed her for causing her father's suicide. That message was retweeted 21 times, according to The Washington Post.

While many reported the comments to Twitter officials, Zelda Williams decided the best course of action for her was just to walk away. She announced early Wednesday that she was deleting Twitter from her devices and was stepping away from the service "for a good long time, maybe forever." She also wrote on her Instagram account that she will be leaving the account "while I heal and decide if I'll be deleting it or not."

CNN reports that Twitter is now looking to revamp its user-protection policies in light of the incident.

"We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement. "We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one.

"This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users."

While this sort of abuse is always a sad state of affairs, its made even worse given the death of Williams' father. Hopefully her hiatus from social media will give her the privacy she needs to mourn his passing.

It sadly isn't just anonymous internet goons taking shots at the Williams family, as Fox News commentator Shepard Smith also called Robin Williams "a coward" following his suicide. The ensuing outcry over social media later caused him to issue an apology.

Robin Williams was an avid gamer in addition to his acting career, and a petition is already underway to add his likeness to World of Warcraft. You can also check out our list of 8 Amazing Films featuring Williams.

Zelda herself was named after the titular character of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series, so perhaps the best way to close out this unfortunate story is with a brief moment between father and daughter.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN, Variety

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Goddamn it. There are some fucked up psychos in this world.

That commercial would have been a little too sugary for me two weeks ago. Now it actually hurts a little.

And that harassment has to be some of the meanest shit online I've heard of in a while. What kind of person does this sort of stuff? To actively try to hurt someones feelings you don't know, during a low moment in their lives, is a despicable way to attempt notoriety, if that was their goal, and just rotten behavior regardless.

Stay classy, people. And we thought the internet would make us smarter.

Mcoffey:
Stay classy, people. And we thought the internet would make us smarter.

It makes smart people smarter. And it reveals other people's stupidity.

There are some sick people out there, I think Zelda's going through enough right now without clowns doing this to her.

On a different tone, I strongly believe that depression/suicide is something society needs to be far more educated on as a whole. As someone who has lost a good friend to this illness called depression (Yes, I believe it is just that), there is always the question of "why?" that gets thrown around a lot, but psychological problems can often be just as dangerous to a person as physical ones.

Classy. Reeeeal classy.

Although it's funny how it takes something high profile and highly visible like this to make Twitter want to actually do something about the sort of thing that goes on across their service every day.

One might say it's not their job to police the communications of their users and that's a totally legitimate position which I might even agree with, but make no mistake, they're only taking action here to cover their arses.

Some people really need their internet privileges revoking! Maybe their oxygen privileges too.

inb4 someone knee-jerkedly defends the abuse in a misguided attempt to preemptively protect free speech.

All my sympathies go out to Ms. Williams, and I hope these psychos don't disturb her internet presence any further.

Makes you embarrassed to be part of the same species as these Fing animals doesn't it.

It doesn't matter who's fault it is or what was going on behind the scenes. Not right now.

Investigations are already being done by people who actually know what they're doing.

Basic respect should've been given, either way.

From one gamer to another, I'm sorry for the shit you're going through, Williams.

All I can say is...WOW! Some people really have absolutely no sense or sensibility. They just say and do whatever without taking even 2 shits (official measurement of anything, btw) to think about what they're saying and its potential effects. Specifically with Shepard:

"The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he's a coward," Smith told TVNewser. "That goes against everything I am. If those words, I used so innocently, offended his family, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more sorry."

That's such a half-assed apology, in my opinion, and it the kind of apology that people are using too often. The reason I call it a half-assed apology is because he says if his words offended the family that he is sorry. Using the word "if" means you don't really, truly acknowledge that you did anything wrong. Secondly, the premise of the apology is in complete dissonance with the action itself. Shepard admits to not knowing anything personally about Robin Williams, yet was clearly willing to call him a coward in public. However, he then goes on to say that committing such an action is against his own character and belief, meaning it's an action that contradicts his own professed beliefs, making him a hypocrite in the process. Also, "coward" is a very strong word; it's hard to ever use it innocently.

I consider Shepard's apology to be a PR apology and not necessarily meant with any sincerity. If he really meant what he said in the apology, firstly, he would not have committed the action in the first place; however, granting that we are all human and make mistakes, even making the mistake of contradicting his own beliefs, he should have just fully admitted to hurting someone else and simply stated that what he did was wrong. No "if" used.

I'm sure some in these forums have experience with depression (either going through it or know someone who is). Cowardice or bravery has little to nothing to do with it if a person ends up taking their own life as a result of the depression. Depression is a seriously debilitating state of mind that can rob a person of any vitality or zeal for life. It is extremely difficult to overcome, even with treatments.

I know this is probably starting to rant on and likely many folks just have me on ignore so as not to see anything I post, but I still feel I need to say this. Something that I ran across some time ago is that the ability to seek forgiveness, sincerely, and the ability to give forgiveness are very important things in human relationships. However, part of this is to fully acknowledge that one committed an action that did cause hurt and harm to another, not cover it with qualifiers. Recognize the error, correct it, and attempt to be a better person. Don't simply pass it as "try harder not to get caught". Learn that your actions, for good or ill, have an effect on others, and you need to develop a preemptive set of morales and ethics that is capable of catching the error before it happens. Will you be perfect at that? Will I prevent all possibility of hurt? No. But, when the hurt does happen, admit to it and say you're sorry with full acknowledgement that you committed a wrong against another. Don't try to hide or dodge it. Be a human being with some real integrity.

As for the two Twitter posts, all I can say is that some parents today clearly don't teach their kids shit about how to be a decent human being. You just don't do stuff like that.

lacktheknack:
inb4 someone knee-jerkedly defends the abuse in a misguided attempt to preemptively protect free speech.

All my sympathies go out to Ms. Williams, and I hope these psychos don't disturb her internet presence any further.

Awful people, but unfortunately not unexpected, because awful people are far too common.

I'm actually more surprised that we made it to 10 replies on this forum without someone declaring that she was targeted solely for being a woman with the audacity to have a twitter account.

Twitter is a piece of shit social media network. This has been happening to people for a long time. They are only doing anything about it now because she has some sense is leaving it behind, and she is just currently famous enough to garner attention about it.

I can't help but feel both misanthropic and borderline murderous towards people who perpetuate this bull shit. Whether the person is famous or not, you never fucking speak ill of the dead, especially when they are beloved by many. I've felt Zelda's pain, I've had to deal with a similar situation. Depression hurts, and it's this kind of vitriolic bile and disregard of another person's emotional well being that makes it worse on a person suffering it!

I wish Zelda Williams my condolences as well as my hope that she is able to come back from this ordeal stronger and for the better.

Wow that's actually unimaginably vile.Nobody should be bullied off of the internet like that especially during a family tragedy. I hope these cretins are found out and treated with the contempt they deserve. Bloody morons thinking they're being cool and edgy the only thing cool and edgy about these people is the giant icicle I'd like to shove up their... (hypothetically of course I wouldn't actually hurt someone)

Zhukov:

Although it's funny how it takes something high profile and highly visible like this to make Twitter want to actually do something about the sort of thing that goes on across their service every day.

That's my thought in a nutshell.

I'm glad the change is happening, but it sort of irks me that it took the daughter of a celebrity to accomplish it.

And this is why anyone claiming "free speech!" should promptly be slapped across the chops before being banned from all social media. Jeez, even 4chan as a whole didn't find that funny (seriously, there were entire threads devoted to the man).

Also, apparently some people are wanting Nintendo to put his likeness into the next Zelda. I say model the next king of Hyrule after the man.

Not cool. Just, not cool. What is wrong with those people? Seriously, I would really like to know what reasoning those assholes conjured up that she deserved this. Straight from their own mouths.

BlameTheWizards:
Both accounts have since been suspended by Twitter...

Pardon my French, but...

Fuck "suspension" - such behaviour needs to be prosecuted!

Darth Sea Bass:
Some people really need their internet privileges revoking! Maybe their oxygen privileges too.

I've been in favor of an internet license and registration system for years now, because of people like this. For the love of god, please let us developed a way to punch people through the web.

And once again, the thought of hoping that somehow, some day, I get granted the ability to punch people through my monitor comes into my head.

This is sickening.

I think we need to send some people back to kindergarten to learn what "Basic manners" are and explain to some people why it's not OK to do shit like this. Whether you're a major celebrity or not, you don't do this kind of shit to people.

That's literally all I can say about how this makes me feel without descending into a mad rage of gibberish and repeated use of the word "Cuntnugget".

Thats why I dont do social media. So often it brings out the worst in people. My thoughts are with the family.

The Internet: where we just can't have nice things. Not even Anonymous would stoop this low.

Aiddon:
And this is why anyone claiming "free speech!" should promptly be slapped across the chops before being banned from all social media. Jeez, even 4chan as a whole didn't find that funny (seriously, there were entire threads devoted to the man).

Also, apparently some people are wanting Nintendo to put his likeness into the next Zelda. I say model the next king of Hyrule after the man.

With that epic beard of his? Most definitely. Give him the Royal Treatment(and make him DO something, like the King of Red Lions, but less boat more pro-active kingly behavior)

On topic. This, to me, is the litteral definition of disgusting. There are no words. I don't care who the person was that died(Don't misread, I love me some Robin Williams and am equally hurt to see his passing.) there is no logical argument that can be made that this should ever in any way shape or form fall under "Free Speech". Acts of an Obscene nature are not protected by that sacred writ and if this isn't Obscene, I don't know what is. I hope that the people who did this are caught, made to face the consequences of such childish and reproachful actions and made to understand the true gravity of such actions. They disgust me. No human being should ever be put through that kind of torment after the passing of someone that probably meant the world to them. That's beyond "stay classy" it's literally disgusting.

I see the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory still holds true. (Regular person +audience + anonymity = person spewing offensive bullshit).

While I don't think we could reasonably prosecute these people, perhaps a bit of old fashioned public shaming might do them some good?

And this is what happens when we allow "free speech", it's absolutely downright disgusting that people would do this to her after losing not only a dear father but a guy who gave us countless entertainment, laughs and childhood memories.

Can't wait to see free speech defenders turn up though, they'd deserve the slap just the same.

Sure while social media does bring people closer to the celebrity and vice versa but this is just doing the oppersite. Sometime we don't really need that sort of crap from others that we can do without.

Well, I hope that whoever did spew out that garbage towards that poor girl gets struck by lightning and get sent to Hades.

Because we don't need people like that on this planet.

Sorry but that's my opinion on this.

There's a special place in hell for people like this.

Oh and I would LOVE to see some one try and pull the '1st amendment card' on this. I wanna laugh at them.

I'd like to see these people prosecuted. But knowing how fucked up our justice system is nothing will be done about them. Hopefully their names are released out to the public so they can't feel safe in public.

But surely she should just grow a thicker skin and get over it because, like, this is just the internet being the internet!

... yeah, this is garbage and so are the type of people who would do that sort of thing. I hope that Twitter finds some way to go beyond mere suspensions with those involved. As for changes to Twitter itself? I'm not sure much can be done without some very major changes to the way the service works.

That is utterly revolting behaviour. I hope she comes back from it.

Adam Jensen:
Goddamn it. There are some fucked up psychos in this world.

You don't know the half of it.

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