Warning: distressing content

The Gold Coast Bulletin has reported that Queensland woman Laura McMullin has been subjected to threats of violence online from trolls after her 16-year-old son died in a workplace accident. McMullin’s son Jayden died when he was struck by a roller while working on a driveway. McMullin and her daughter have been sent messages which included threats of being raped and having their heads stomped on.

McMullen has urged the online trolls to stop and for their parents to take responsibility. The trolls bullying McMullen online had not even known her son.

The Online Hate Prevention Institute’s CEO Dr Andre Oboler says, “This type of trolling is unfortunately something we have seen many times before. It almost always relates to the death of children and follows media coverage.”

“The trolls seek to cause maximum emotional harm to their victims, torturing them as a form of entertainment. They also seek to trigger public outrage in a twisted demonstration of their ‘power’ to influence the world around them.”

“Such abuse of others using digital communications is a crime and one police should fully investigate.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call: Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.