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Poorna Bell

Posted on November 26, 2018

The truth about going viral

Uncovered

iNews feature about viral story

Having a tweet or funny video go viral is something that most creatives could only dream of. The thought of having hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of the globe repeatedly share something that started off as an idea in a content creator’s mind is the ultimate way to massage one’s ego, right? I’m afraid not.

As many of you know, an open letter I wrote about my experience of being racially sexualised by Irish men received a lot of traction when it was first published. What I thought would open important discourse surrounding interracial dating in a country that I now consider my home, resulted in me being a target for online trolling and abuse.

Receiving hateful messages online after my open letter went viral became such a regular occurrence that it led to me closing my comment section on YouTube and becoming a complete social hermit.

While I did write a blog on how to deal with bad publicity, I never really delved into the darker side of how I felt after the events that transpired. It was just too emotional.

Last week, I finally mustered the strength to do exactly that as I was interviewed by former HuffPost UK Editor Poorna Bell for a feature in iNews.

iNews feature about viral story

The iNews feature highlights the impact of having a story go viral in the wrong and unwanted sense. It was the perfect opportunity for me to share a raw account of how trolling can affect a person’s well-being.

I will admit that I was hesitant at first, but the award-winning journalist dealt with my story with such delicacy and care. Poorna was aware of the sensitivity of the topic throughout the whole interview process – even when she was trying to get to the core of what happened.

I have so much respect for authentic journalists who strive to uncover accurate accounts of real life stories and I genuinely cannot thank Poorna enough for sharing mine in such a raw way.

To read my feature about the very real impact online trolling can have on a person’s well-being, click here.

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