Robin Williams' Daughter Leaves Twitter Following Online Abuse

| 14 Aug 2014 15:28

Twitter is now investigating how to change its user-protection policies after two of the internet's worst sent Zelda Williams abusive messages, including a Photoshopped image showing father Robin Williams' bruised, dead body.

There has been an outpouring of goodwill from the vast majority of the internet following the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. However, amidst all the well-wishes, a few people have decided to kick the late actor's daughter, Zelda Williams, while she's down.

In the days after her father's death was discovered, 25-year old Zelda Williams received threatening messages from two Twitter users. Both accounts have since been suspended by Twitter, but not before they sent several messages to Zelda Williams, including one with a Photoshopped image of her father's dead, bruised body that appeared to be in a morgue. One of the users also apparently sent Zelda Williams messages, since deleted, that blamed her for causing her father's suicide. That message was retweeted 21 times, according to The Washington Post.

While many reported the comments to Twitter officials, Zelda Williams decided the best course of action for her was just to walk away. She announced early Wednesday that she was deleting Twitter from her devices and was stepping away from the service "for a good long time, maybe forever." She also wrote on her Instagram account that she will be leaving the account "while I heal and decide if I'll be deleting it or not."

CNN reports that Twitter is now looking to revamp its user-protection policies in light of the incident.

"We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement. "We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one.

"This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users."

While this sort of abuse is always a sad state of affairs, its made even worse given the death of Williams' father. Hopefully her hiatus from social media will give her the privacy she needs to mourn his passing.

It sadly isn't just anonymous internet goons taking shots at the Williams family, as Fox News commentator Shepard Smith also called Robin Williams "a coward" following his suicide. The ensuing outcry over social media later caused him to issue an apology.

Robin Williams was an avid gamer in addition to his acting career, and a petition is already underway to add his likeness to World of Warcraft. You can also check out our list of 8 Amazing Films featuring Williams.

Zelda herself was named after the titular character of Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series, so perhaps the best way to close out this unfortunate story is with a brief moment between father and daughter.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN, Variety

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