Online community manager and social media consultant Laurel Papworth said that, by responding to and retweeting attacks such as calls for her to “go hang herself” – and even calling the boss of a woman who abused her online, Dawson gave her enemies the oxygen they craved.
“You never give bullies oxygen and you never feed the trolls,” Papworth said.
“By simply retweeting every negative tweet that comes along, you’re training your community: to get Charlotte’s attention, be mean to her … I don’t think you should reward trolls with that sort of attention … She got herself into a corner.”
Often, the bully has far fewer followers than their target and, by responding to, or retweeting, their tweets, the victim immediately notifies all of their followers about the attacker’s tweet.
Dawson had just under 35,000 followers at the time of writing, and Papworth said she would have been better served by using Twitter’s “block” tool to stop the attackers from communicating with her. If she did respond, she should have done so without naming the troll Twitter accounts.