Picking a Twitter fight that escalates to the point where you tell a celebrity to “go hang yourself” will have consequences — if only short-term public embarrassment.
Tanya Heti learned that when she told Charlotte Dawson, a judge on “Australia’s Next Top Model,” to hang herself. Heti was suspended with pay from her mentoring job at Monash University while the school investigated the incident. Dawson had contacted the school by email to report Heti’s hostile language.
But the conflict ultimately appears to have done more damage to Dawson than Heti. Backlash from the incident sent Dawson into a state of depression, for which she was hospitalized. Dawson’s Twitter account is now private, but in an open letter as part of the #StopTheTrolls campaign, she said she will not leave Twitter, as critics suggest.
“If somebody uses Twittter to send pornographic images of children, that’s not OK,” Dawson wrote. “If somebody uses Twitter to scam money out of people, it’s not OK, just like the real world. If someone uses Twitter to encourage someone to suicide, to intentionally harass and intimidate people, THAT. IS. NOT. OKAY.”
The university, meanwhile, allowed Heti to return to work.