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Erin Molan has lashed out at the ‘vile’ rumours circulating about Anthony Seibold, opening up about some of the disgusting abuse she’s received online.
Brisbane Broncos coach Seibold has launched legal action over the rumours, with cybersecurity experts said to be close to identifying the culprits.
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Speaking on WSFM radio on Thursday, Molan lashed out at the trolls.
“Some of these rumours that have been circulating and some of the trolling that he has received has been some of the vilest that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some pretty vile stuff and I’ve been the recipient of some pretty vile stuff,” Molan said.
“I am so glad that he is taking action, I’m so glad that he has got lawyers. I’m so glad that he has got cyber experts from overseas.
“Trolling is not someone going online and saying, ‘Erin I don’t like your dress’ or ‘Erin I don’t like you’. That’s not trolling.
“Trolling is vile, repeated harassment. It is threatening, it is so serious … Things need to change.”
Erin Molan calls for change
The Channel Nine presenter revealed how she’d been sent messages like “your daughter will die”, “you should die” and “I will ensure you and your daughter die.”
However she said numerous complaints to the eSafety Commission have been turned away because authorities can’t do much about it.
According to Molan, the thought-process around trolling needs to change.
“The whole conversation around trolling at the moment is for the victim. Block them, ignore them, report them, got off social media,” Molan said.
“No! I’m sorry, that’s not good enough. Social media is really important for a lot of people. You should not have to get offline because you are being trolled.
“We need to change the conversation, we need to be saying to perpetrators, ‘You can go to jail, you can be fined, you can be sued for defamation for hundreds of thousands of dollars’.
“This conversation needs to change. I’m sick of people telling victims to get off social media or to ignore them.
“We need to have campaigns out there that say to people, ‘You can go to jail if you make things up that ruin people’s reputations. You can go to jail if you threaten someone’s life’.
“I know I’m fired up about this, I get very passionate about it, because this has to be a line in the sand moment.
“Trolling and bullying and the abuse of people online will never stop unless people think they will be accountable for their actions.”
Source of Seibold rumours ‘linked to NRL people’
Cybersecurity experts have reportedly identified “associates with links to NRL people” as the source of the rumours about Seibold.
On Tuesday night, investigators reportedly pinpointed the source of the rumours to several people with links to NRL coaches and former players.
“Investigators tracking vile rumours about Anthony Seibold are looking at current and ex players,” Chris Garry of Channel 7 reported.
“A key figure is well known to NRL fans. NSW police have also looked into the matter. The source is a group of people based in Aus and overseas.”
Peter Badel of The Courier Mail revealed similar details on NRL 360.
“The cybersecurity experts have found a group of people they believe are guilty of these social media slurs against Anthony Seibold,” he said.
“They are associates with links to NRL people. Those people are coaches, former coaches, and former NRL players.
“We’re not saying it’s the actual current coaches behind this, but associates – i.e. family, friends, partners.
“I spoke to Anthony Seibold’s lawyer today and they’re 90 per cent sure they’ll get the men they’re after.
“They expect a final, definitive call in the next 24 to 48 hours. I think there’ll be some very nervous people in the NRL at the moment.”
Earlier this week Seibold’s lawyer revealed a “prominent name” is in the spotlight.
Dave Garratt later told The Australian the “person of prominence” had “blacked out” their social media accounts when news of the investigation became public.