One of Take Me Out’s ‘Flirty 30’ became the victim of a top trending Twitter hashtag last week after a wardrobe malfunction. But, is trolling now an unwanted side effect of airtime?
2016 Miss Universe Great Britain finalist, Sharlene Bayliss, found herself targeted by keyboard warriors after winning a trip to Fernando’s on the programme last week.
Viewers at home had taken to Twitter to attack the 21 year old for a wardrobe malfunction in her jumpsuit that inadvertently attracted attention in between her legs.
— stacey (@staceycass) 13 January 2018 Fernando’s fun for the happy couple was tainted by the trolls, however, is negative feedback to be expected? #TakeMeOut was a top trending topic, as usual, on Saturday evening – making it even easier to target Sharlene. Within seconds of her coming head-to-head with the other contestant people were taking to the App to post gifs, images and insults online.
Looking at that outfit she’s got on sharlene on Take Me Out should have said camel when asked what animal she was
— Ian Gow (@ian_gow) 13 January 2018I actually feel sorry for Sharlene and her camel toe 😂😂 #takemeout — Alex Hill (@Alexmoore0502) 13 January 2018Sharlene with some good old #Cameltoe👌🏾#TakeMeOut .@takemeoutukpic.twitter.com/5PYJ9Kx6Ty
— Hiten Patel (@AgentPatel) 13 January 2018
It can be argued that being within the public eye drives peoples attention to pick out the flaws of those they’re watching, and it’s always easier to type one tweet within hundreds than say something to a persons face.
However, seeing a comment via a screen only manages to save the insult permanently rather than soften the blow, something Sharlene quickly found out for herself.
The Take Me Out star said: “It just feel constant and I feel like I know I’ve partially added fuel to the fire but I couldn’t silence myself any longer.”
Sharlene, unlike many others who have been targeted in the past, chose to answer the trolls with an Instagram post that quickly attracted lots of attention.
“Putting myself out there in the public eye has welcomed the unexpected, we’re advised by the production team before we film not to look at what people are saying on social media but when #TakeMeOut is the number one trending on twitter it’s hard not to have a quick look.
“I’ve never been trolled before so when it happened it was surprising yet expected because I know it happens, if you put yourself out there in the public eye you never really know how people will react to you so the idea of getting trolled is possible so it’s important to mentally prepare yourself. But the thought of the possibility of it happening should never stop you from creating experiences and opening doors for yourself.“When I read the comments about my trolling I took it on the chin, but when I was scrolling and there were hundreds ongoing it was repetitive, 24 hours after the show and the trolling had almost died down, but it was still happening, I decided to speak out on my social media platforms. It had a very positive response, of course their’s always the odd ones who still decided to say negative things.”
Abuse continuing past 24 hours is not unusual, once on the content is online it is hard to permanently erase and easily re-found to ‘retweet’.
With 330 million active Twitter users online the platform is is busier than ever. It’s all too easy to instantly tweet a one second thought that is online for a ever – and all just with a tap of a button.
Elephant’s Voice got another exclusive interview on this hot topic, Stacey* (cover name to protect the trolls identity) spoke openly about her own trolling behaviours.
— Jen (@jenren87) 13 January 2018
Not all the comments were negative however, as just as many women also took to Twitter to defend Sharlene and compliment her special skill performance.
Sharlene impressed me with her hula hoop skills
her to be like one of “those” Britain’s Got Talent auditions#takemeout
— Vladimir Raul (@EmperorMendoza) 13 January 2018
“I had a lot of girls from around the country messaging me positive words and I always reply to them because I feel grateful for the support. Nothing gets past the take me out girls we all stick together and we aren’t afraid to comment back if we see one of us being maliciously trolled, we’re all equally in the same boat so we understand and relate each other.
“Personally I have never trolled before because I’ve never really got into using twitter. To anyone who does it I would just say ‘think before you type’ because it can really effect how that person is feeling.”
Flirty 30 to support her through the online attack, though many others don’t.
“The flirty 30 girls are the kindest funniest girls, who all have great chatty personalities. We have a massive Whats-app group chat where we message each other for support and catch up with the girls that get whisked away to Fernando’s. There is no competition to get the guy on the show, it’s all good fun, we’re all genuinely happy for the girls that get dates.”
No-one ‘likeys’ a troll.
*Statistics have been drawn from the Data & Society Research Institute’s Online Harassment, Digital Abuse, and Cyberstalking in America report; the Pew Research Center‘s online harassment study; the Data & Society Research Institute’s Nonconsensual Image Sharing data memo; and the office of U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s release on the Cybercrime Statistics Act.
This weeks controversy was chosen as during last weeks programme #TakeMeOut and #KissMyCamel were two of the most popular trending hashtags of the week.