Abuse and threats aimed at wheelchair user over faked photo
A Newcastle woman says she received death threats online after being turned into an internet meme that made fun of her wheelchair use.
Emily Morison, 24, woke up with messages from friends last week about one of her photos edited to contain a pro-Trump message she didn't write.
Comments included the call to "roll off a cliff" and another encouraging murder, she said.
Facebook removed the post - but TikTok didn't.
Ms. Morison is a blogger who writes about accessibility and equality.
On June 14, she woke up and saw that the edited photo had reappeared on Facebook and TikTok, with a "joke" that made fun of her wheelchair use - and had been shared on both platforms tens of thousands of times.
Two days later, Ms. Morison decided to write her thoughts in an open letter to one of the people who shared the post.
"I cannot describe the effect your actions have on me," she wrote.
"In the past few years I've lost the ability to walk and survived several operations ... but nothing compares to being looked at and laughed at by thousands of strangers.
"I've spent the last few days fighting really dark thoughts about myself and my life because these people have said about me," she wrote.
Ms. Morison told the BBC that online trolling was not without victims, but she was not looking for pity.
"Instead, it's a desire for a real, tangible change where people think for a moment before posting anything online about the person at the receiving end," she said.
Her posts about abuse on Twitter and Facebook have been shared thousands of times and generated a lot of support.
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It's not the first time this picture appears - Ms. Morison was similarly abused on Twitter when the doctor's photo stolen from her Instagram account appeared there on Christmas Eve last year. Twitter removed the photo within 24 hours.
This time, Facebook had removed the post when she posted her open letter on the platform on Tuesday afternoon - but TikTok hadn't done so despite "multiple requests," Ms. Morison said.
The account holder who posted it to TikTok finally removed the post himself after public pressure.
However, both platforms initially informed her that the stolen, treated photo had not violated any guidelines.
Facebook removed the post after appeals from Ms. Morison and many of her friends against the original decision, she said.
A Facebook spokesman said: "We apologize for our failure not to remove this post when it was first reported to us. We sometimes make mistakes when reviewing content, which is why we give people the opportunity to appeal against our decisions We want Facebook to do this. " Be a place where people feel safe to contact others and we apologize for the need. "
TikTok was contacted for comment.
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