Influencers dealing with increased online harassment during coronavirus lockdowns

Mary

Influencers have always been privy to online harassment, but many say that they’ve been receiving more hateful, violent messages than usual over the past few months while people stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The harassment has gotten worse, 100%, since lockdowns began,” Erim Kaur, a lifestyle and beauty influencer, told NBC News. “People call me ugly, fat, fake. They say all sorts of horrible things about me and my family and threaten us and you feel powerlessness against it, because they keep making new accounts.”

Kaur said she and three other U.K.-based influencers made a specific group chat to provide support to one another against the influx of insults and harassment they’d started receiving when stay-at-home orders were first established. She also hired a lawyer to help her track threats last month.

Margaret Hemenway, a YouTuber, posted a video titled “Ways to Stop Bullying/Online Harassment (My