twitter, trolls, muslim, paris attack, Australian women,

Who knew good could come from trolling? 

Sociologist, academic, wife and Australian Muslim Susan Carland, has found an interesting way to send a message out to ignorant and hateful trolls on Twitter.

After receiving hundreds of spiteful tweets from members of the public for no reason other than being a Muslim woman who speaks publicly about her faith, Carland found herself at a crossroads.

“I tried blocking, muting, ignoring. I tried engaging,” she said.

However Carland’s trolls weren’t deterred. That is, until she came up with the genius quip of pledging to donate $1 to UNICEF every time she got an unpleasant tweet.


“As a Muslim woman, people from many different quarters are eager to tell me how to dress and how to act. They also seem determined to tell me what I believe,” Carland wrote in her column in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I regularly get tweets and Facebook messages from the brace freedom fighters behind determinedly anonymous accounts telling me that, as a Muslim woman, I love oppression, murder, war and sexism.”

Now, over two weeks later, Carland has sent well over $1000 to the global charity, and it unfortunately (or fortunately?)  looks like she wont be stopping anytime soon. Sadly Carland isn’t the first female to be publicly ridiculed over Twitter for choosing to live her life on her own terms. Last month French adult actress Nikita Bellucci was verbally harassed via social media for her career choice, ultimately hitting back at her trolls, saying, “Unfortunately I have noticed that if you are a porn star, you don’t have the right to want to cultivate your mind and you must not share your opinions on the news.”

Model and actress Chrissy Teigen also suffered similar online bullying recently, for posting photos of herself eating, copping flack for making unhealthy food choices while pregnant and setting a bad example.

Being attacked for being different is a growing phenomenon online, often aimed at women and one that rarely ends as well as in Carland’s case. In 2012, Australian actress Charlotte Dawson was told, “go hang yourself” by Twitter trolls and subsequently attempted suicide, ultimately taking her own life in February last year, and earlier this year Ashley Judd vowed to press charges against online trolls, posting the following tweet: “When I express a stout opinion during #MarchMadness I am called a whore, c—, threatened with sexual violence. Not okay. And by the way I’m pressing charges.”


It’s an experience Carland is keen to put a stop to with her unique new anti-troll campaign.

Speaking out on Studio Ten, Carland talked about the way the recent attacks in Paris have intensified the bullying and ostracism of Muslim women.

“In times like this we all have to make the choice whether we retreat into fear and anger and blaming or whether we actively choose to come together and say ‘We will not allow this to pull us apart.’ Because that is actually part of the goal…Society tearing itself is actually one of the intended outcomes of terrorist attacks conducted by ISIS.”

Thoughts such as this were seconded by Carland’s husband, television presenter Waleed Aly, who has publicly reached out to Australians asking them to stop preaching “hate” and instead “come together.”

“We all need to come together. I know how that sounds. I know it is a cliche, but it is also true because it is exactly what ISIL doesn’t want.”

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Comment: What do you think of Susan Carland’s reaction to her Twitter trolls?