Alexandra Burke says that ‘people need to use their words kindly’ when it comes to using social media
Singer and actress Alexandra Burke has said that “people need to use their words kindly” when using social media.
The star has teamed up with the Avast Foundation, which has looked at the reasons why people might take part in trolling online and who engages in it.
The foundation’s research shows that almost two-thirds of 16 to 24-year-olds say they have engaged in online trolling, while a quarter of adults believe celebrities are fair game.
Anger is believed to be the key driver, with one-in-three saying it is their motivation to target others.
Burke, who won The X Factor in 2008, told Sky News that she has been trolled online in the past, and wants to protect others from the practice.
“Online trolling shouldn’t be a thing. People shouldn’t have the access to people to say what they want,” she said.
“I’m all for opinions, but I think that people need to use their words kindly, be very careful and also think about people’s emotions and how it impacts their day and how it impacts their mental health.”
She says being on the receiving end of trolling often makes her “want to come off social media full stop”, but admits its her fans that keep here there.
Burke adds: “It just breaks my heart because I know I’m not the only person that’s going through it.
“It’s hard to handle because mental health is a crisis within itself, and it can affect people in so many different ways… One comment can completely shatter their day, completely shatter how they feel, and I don’t think those who are trolling understand the effect they have people.”
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The singer also says that being a black woman in the public eye comes with added pressures, and she is often accused of bleaching her skin by people online.
“I’ve got that before where people have gone ‘oh, look at you, you’ve bleached your skin, your nose is straighter than it was when you was an X Factor, your features are different’.
“No, it’s called growth – I was 19 when I was on the X Factor and I’m 33 now. Features change, people change
“It’s just beyond me that people think that it’s OK to make those kind of comments… I know there are so many women of colour that have experienced trolling in a very negative way, and it does come from people talking about colour.”
(c) Sky News 2021: Alexandra Burke says that ‘people need to use their words kindly’ when it comes to using social media