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Zelda Williams Returns To Twitter

Late Comedian’s Daughter Reminds Us Of Social Networking’s Positive Side

The suicide of comedian Robin Williams was a tragedy that shook millions around the world. The news of his death, which should have been prevented, was terrible for so many reasons. While we would always grieve the loss of such a universally beloved man, the way in which he ended up leaving us made it all so much worse; the notion of a man whose job it had been to provide laughter and happiness to so many succumbing to suicide was horrific. It was also eye-opening.

The one silver lining of the whole event was the increased awareness it raised about the topic of mental unrest. For what seemed like the first time, mental illness and suicidal tendencies became the week’s hot topic, and websites and news outlets around the world provided information with what to do when stifled by the suffocating grip of depression. Robin Williams paid for this fleeting exposure with his life, but he would have found it comforting to learn his death helped others.

Unfortunately, silver linings and times of grieving combine to breed trolls – as Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams and an actress in her own right – discovered. Shortly after her father's death, Zelda was essentially hounded out of Twitter by a pair of online bullies called @PimpStory and @MrGoosebuster.

While I'm usually one to preach simply blocking undesirables online, the pair tweeted Zelda multiple messages accusing her of being at fault for her father’s suicide. If that wasn’t enough, they then sent her images of her recently deceased father’s face photoshopped with bruises around his neck. It was enough to drive the vulnerable Zelda away from Twitter – seemingly for good.
Obviously, the duo’s accounts were suspended; their levels of harassment towards a grieving daughter were verging on being a police matter, let alone an issue for Twitter’s moderators.

However, the internet has a way of evening itself out, and following her return to Twitter earlier this week, Zelda was inundated with messages of support from the overwhelming majority of decent, respectful people who in fact sit behind their Twitter handles – even when hidden by the veil of anonymity.

Zelda immediately took the time to thank her followers for their tweets.

On top of these messages of support, one user tweeted a photo of Robin Williams joyously laughing with two puppets on an episode of Sesame Street. Zelda retweeted the post with a smiley face – perhaps an indication that, like all of us who have lost a loved one have had to do, she is beginning to accept what has happened, move on with her life and appreciate the wonderful life of her father.

With any luck, this will be the last article we'll need to write about the Williams family; if we don't need to report on her again, it will mean she's stopped being attacked. From Zelda's Twitter feed, it seems clear that she wants the same thing as well.

Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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Zelda Williams Returns To Twitter Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 Rating: 5
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