Powerful Video Shows What Happens When Internet Trolls Show Up In Real Life

Monica Lewinsky wants you to rethink the way you interact online.

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Powerful Video Shows What Happens When Internet Trolls Show Up In Real Life

Though the bullies spewing vitriol are actors, the language used is from real social media posts


Monica Lewinsky calls herself one of the first victims of cyber-bullying, becoming "Patient Zero" after an affair with former US President Bill Clinton. A salacious scandal erupted after news of the affair broke that led to Ms Lewinsky, a former White House intern, finding herself at the receiving end of a barrage of hateful comments and the butt of cruel jokes. "I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and, of course, 'that woman'," she said in a TED talk that went viral in 2015.

On Monday, the anti-bullying activist posted a powerful video showing what happens when online bullying - often in the form of hateful, anonymous comments - finds its way to the real world.

The video shows a series disturbing situations where bullies spew vitriol at their victims. The harassment continues till good Samaritans stand up to the bullies. In the social experiment, though the bullies and their victims are actors, the people reacting are not. And the horrible language used is all taken from actual social media posts.

"After watching this, you'll rethink the way you interact online," tweeted Ms Lewinsky along with a link to the video. 

Watch the video below:
 
The video has racked up over 1.5 lakh views on YouTube and been shared online by people like Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

"I wonder if those people who do leave hateful comments are really like that in real life," asks one person. 

"Anonymity... that's why people do it. They are cowards hiding behind their screens," comments one person on the video. 

"It was heartening to see people step in, but also disheartening to see how many people apparently did not. I think to me the takeaway is not to be one of the people who does nothing," comments another. 

"I wanted to creatively demonstrate the difference between our online and offline behavior in a thought-provoking way," Ms Lewinsky tells People. "I think that there are are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of horrible things, which have been said about me online and in print. But I can count on one, maybe two hands, how many times people have been rude to my face"

"When you are with someone, when you see someone face to face, you are reminded of their humanity," she adds.

"This campaign is a wakeup call to remind people that our instincts for empathy and caring are still strong," Adweek quotes Ms Lewinsky as saying. "We just need to consciously extend that thinking online."
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