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I’ve Had Online Hate For Not Looking Disabled

EmilyDavison94EmilyDavison94 Member Posts: 1 Connected
edited July 2019 in Guest blogs

Emily is a Blogger, Content Creator and Vlogger who goes by the name of Fashioneyesta. She also has a condition called Septo Optic Dysplasia, which is a congenital condition that affects her sight and endocrine system.

I make content about style, beauty and disability awareness and have been since 2012.  I started making content after to positively change perceptions towards sight loss and disability in general.


Being a blogger you have to learn to accept criticism, it comes with the territory. However, sometimes the comment’s I’ve received have been less critical and more hateful. The hate has always been directed at one thing, my disability.  

I’ve received comments from people telling me that I don’t look disabled or that I don’t look like I have a visual impairment. People have outright accused me of faking my disability. When I’ve spoken about my experiences with disability discrimination and inaccessibility, some have tried to invalidate me by telling me that I’m “complaining”. I’ve even had comments from people telling me to do harmful things to myself to “cure” my disability.

In the past, this had a colossal impact on my mental heath, these comments would send my anxiety spiralling out of control. I couldn’t face making videos and so the camera was put away and for long periods of time I would go offline.

People’s hate of my disability stopped me from living my life.

But when I tried to report it I was often left feeling confused, on a lot of platforms there isn’t a specific option for disability hate crime. So I often wondered “do I report a case of bullying, harassment or hate speech?” After long discussions with disabled friends on what category to file my report under I would then block the commenter and try to move on.

Some said, “just don’t go online if you can’t handle it” or “don’t make videos, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”

But I don’t see that as a solution. Why should the onus be put on disabled people not to use social media? For a lot of the disability community, social media is a vital tool to socialise and thrive when we can’t physically get out to socialise. Having a disability can be very isolating at times, especially when I’m too ill to leave my house. Social media is my key to having a voice and for building an online community.

I’m living proof that online disability hate crime does happen and that it can play havoc with your life. I’m lucky that the comments I receive are pretty tame next to some of the offences I’ve heard about. But that we are living in a society that is becoming more habituated into thinking this kind of abuse towards disabled people is acceptable. According to a new study from disability charity Leonard Charity has risen by 33% in the last year.


It could get worse…

The real responsibility needs to be put onto social media platforms to create a system to report specific hate crimes and to work with local police services to make reporting these crimes easier. More positive disability awareness programmes need to be taught in schools, where disability hate crime and ableism are talked about to young people by disabled people. Disabled influencers should continue to receive elevation and support from social media platforms so that they can continue to spread a positive message.

Disability hate crime needs to be seen for what it is, a crime. Regardless of whether it’s on the street or on a screen.

Have you ever had your disability challenged online? How do you think we can overcome online disability hate crime?  

Emily Davison
Writer, Blogger and Content Creator 

Replies

  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Emily, thank you for raising such an important issue and for sharing your experiences with us.  It is absolutely disgusting that you have been the victim of such hateful comments online when all you have been striving to do is raise awareness of disabilities.  These spiteful people should be named and shamed and brought to account for their awful actions!  It is all credit to you that you have kept going with your blogging and are standing up to these bullies.  These people are nothing but cowards who hide behind a computer screen and obviously feel so bad about themselves that they have to vent their insecurities on to decent people.  

    I don't have personal experience of this myself as I am not on all social media channels, but I believe as you have already mentioned in your post, that children and young people need to be taught about disabilities at school and the benefits of going online for a disabled person and how much this can empower disabled people.  It is true that the police and social media platforms need to play their part too and act as a deterrent to these awful crimes.  Disabled people should be allowed to be as creative as they want to be online and should not have to be live in fear of being targeted in this way.

    Your blog sounds really interesting and I will take a look.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    Your blog sounds interesting. This has been on my mind lately as my son grows. How do I raise awareness? 
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 123 Pioneering
    Well done for speaking out about this issue and raising awareness. I am sorry you have had these bad experiences. 😢
  • bluebobbluebob Member Posts: 13 Connected
    I have had people call me names I've also had my mobility car damaged and dogs poo thrown at my front door it got so bad I had a break down and the end I moved . Now I'm a happy chappy in a village where you are always spoken to by people who don't know me  I can now just get on with my life . 

  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @bluebob and welcome to the Community.  I am sorry to hear that you went through such a horrible experience.  That is awful!  Glad to hear things are much better for you now where you live.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • vysvadervysvader Member Posts: 133 Courageous
    edited July 2019
    EmilyDavison94 said:
    Some said, “just don’t go online if you can’t handle it” or “don’t make videos, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.” But I don’t see that as a solution. 
    It doesn't look like a good deal/plan (to throw out all including work, any ambitions, and whatever else that can make you a successful and happy person). Either, it doesn't look like a good business plan : )

    Actually, who are the "amazing" people those actually criticize/moralize you? The trolls are weak personalities, emotionally unstable, with a lower IQ than you, anonymous psychopaths, sadists, and narcissists (who's it? The feature and 60% of ex-prisoners are psychopaths, and also prostitutes belong here, you're moralized and trolled by cheap prostitutes). 

    If you are one-on-one, the chances are, it's easy to totally tear them out and splash whenever they lose the anonymity or even with the anonymity when they are one-on-one (either in discussions on social media) and it usually happens, you can get rid them off pretty easily. The only problem is when they feel support (you are actually not one-on-one).

     14 years ago, I'd taken the same talk as you but with a psychotherapist/psychoanalyst. I said what some said about me, "my personality is weakening because I don't react/fight enough, care less-and-less what people say". Another way, I could spend all the time and resources just fighting, could always lose a job when someone'd been provoking me, there'd be no time/resources left to fully focus on work and the good stuff that moves me ahead. It went so far, some said, "maybe, I'm so stupid/ill that I don't realize what's going around...". The psychologist laughed and said, "no, it's a sign of a strong personality, emotional stability (the opposite to be crazy), and high IQ if you're able to carry on, and none sees on you anything".

    Well, I'm healthy for long years, but it brought some social consequences (people tend to cope with annoying, even the rudest behavior). Meantime, there weren't retrospectively viewed any options. In theory, the people around you should help you to solve/fight it, they should even report it directly you any known threat because mysteries make you think about it longer and in more associations/possibilities, mysteries make you fight with more people and make you much more stressed than clearly known issues/enemies. But... is there anyone willing to help you or even speak with me about it? I didn't have one person willing to speak about it for all years, but if you're in a different situation...

    It looks that you wanna organize "something"... Eh, give me to know when you find real support.

      
    You can feel free to get in touch 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    Oddly, the worst bullying I receive is from doctors who are usually arrogant, dismissive and most definitely of inferior intelligence to me. I have had many disagreements with doctors and always end up worse off because other people assume they know what they are talking about. Having an unheard of condition puts me into their danger zone of risk for making mistakes (which they ALWAYS do) and so I often get vilified by them for no reason other than their own ignorance.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,194 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello everyone, you have had a rough time being a disabled person.  That’s the trouble unless we have a visible infirmity, disability then people will look, comment or approach you to get confirmation. It’s going to get worst with the introduction of the mental health criteria being added to blue badge users the places that those with mobility issues will be taken by those who are able to walk but have been given a blue Badge . I expect we will see these people struggling to get badges and those who do will use the places used by those with mobility issues forcing them to walk or use their scooters in buy car parks and not having a wide bays to use.  When and if a person says to me, as one who has to use a mobility scooter you don’t look disabled my reply is you don’t look ignorant but you are.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,944 Scope community team
    That 33% increase is very disappointing.
    Sorry to read all these stories, but I'm glad you've managed to put those experiences behind you @bluebob. :smile:
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • bluebobbluebob Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Hi Adrian thank you for your kind words I'm over most of it now .I'm getting with my wonderful partner who has help me turn the corner . Onward and upwards no looking back 👍👍👍👍
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