Domestic violence campaigner Emma Murphy has called for tighter social media regulations to prevent online trolls from spewing vile abuse.
The Dublin mum called for action after she was subjected to racist comments when she posted a photo on Twitter of her two children, aged four and five.
The 30-year-old revealed she’s been targeted before, but she was taken aback at the hateful comments left underneath an adorable snap of her young son and daughter wishing everyone a Happy Easter.
She told Dublin Gazette: “It’s scary to think that in this day and age people can still think like that about mixed-race families. The photo I put up with the kids is the cutest picture ever.
“I’ve been getting it online basically since they were born. I had to close my YouTube account because the abuse was so bad. Most of the comments are from America but some are from here as well.
“Racism is still prevalent in Ireland and that is so sad. You only have to look at what’s happening to taxi drivers. I think there needs to be a conversation around racial abuse here.”
Emma made headlines in 2015 after posting a video of herself on Facebook sitting at the bottom of the stairs sporting a black eye in which she outlined her abusive relationship.
Her partner, a fitness instructor, punched her in the face after she confronted him about cheating on her. He was later sentenced to 100 hours’ community service in court.
Since having the courage to talk about it, the Finglas mum-of-two has encouraged other women to take a stand.
She spent two years producing and starring in an RTE documentary about domestic violence entitled Emma Murphy Fights Back.
Emma is now a support worker in the field of domestic violence and regularly highlights the issue on her Monday radio slot on Dublin’s 103.2FM.
But in order for her to continue spreading her message, she is calling for tighter rules and regulations to protect social media users from abuse.
She said: “Social media helped me and so many others when I did come out with my story in 2015. But while there is good, there is also bad. You are not protected on social media.
“If there was a comeback, if there was some sort of photo ID required to set up an account, that might help. Or if it was an offence to abuse another person punishable by law, that might tackle it.
“As it is, anybody can go online and set up an account under any name and say what they like. I was considering closing down all my social media, but I decided against it because I use it in a positive way to inspire and support others.
“I’ve got over 200,000 followers and I’d feel like I was abandoning them. But from now on I feel I will have to keep my personal stuff off social media, which is sad.”