It has been one week since the tragic suicide death of actor/comedian Robin Williams. And while there has been a groundswell of support from his loved ones and fans taking to social media, the death has also exposed a dark side to these outlets.
Among the highlights of Facebook and Twitter: Fans expressing thoughts and prayers, as well as commemorative messages, quoting his infamous movie quotes, such as “Oh Captain My Captain!”
|A Scene from the movie, Dead Poets’ Society|
The bad: Well, the bad has just been flat out ugly.
Williams’ daughter, Zelda, was bullied off of Twitter by Internet trolls, who decided to post phony photos of her father with bruises around his neck. Her signoff: “I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.”
There are also reports of scammers trying to take advantage of the situation.
“Social media posts are being provided linking to video claiming its unreleased police footage from the time of his death or information where you can see is last words before he died,” said Caitlin Driscoll with the Better Business Bureau.
They call it “click-jacking,” because if you click on the links, it takes you to somewhere you don’t expect. “If you do click, it will either likely lead you to a video player – where it asks you to download the latest version in order to view the information – you’re really just downloading a virus,” said Driscoll.
|Robin Williams, circa 2013|
“Or it may take you to a survey that you have to complete.” “By doing that – they’ll have your information that they can sell to companies for solicitations and you’ll just end up being put on a number of different spam lists,” Driscoll added.
As if the news of one of the greatest comedic actors of our time taking his own life wasn’t sad enough.
One week later and many of us are still reeling from his shocking death. However, the media attention is loathsomely centered on Cyber-pariahs – those who choose to spew hate and look for ways – any way to pilfer data and dollars from people.
What we should be remembering, what we should be taking from this tragedy, is a message of awareness and recovery. Our good friends at Pavilion Recovery said it best in a recent Facebook post:
“Tonight we learn about the passing of Robin Williams. It strikes us once again how this disease doesn’t care how talented, famous, beautiful or rich a person is. We do not know what caused his passing….but we do know that this is a man who was strongly committed to his sobriety. After 20 years sober, he relapsed – and sought help. When he felt himself slipping again – he sought help before he picked up that first drink. He was open and honest about his recovery. As his family asks that people think about the laughter and joy of his life, it seems only appropriate that the recovery community celebrate his recovery and his willingness to share his journey with others. Williams said he had spent years thinking he could handle his alcohol problem on his own.
“But you can’t. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “You really think you can, then you realize, I need help, and that’s the word.”
So instead of searching for grotesque footage, images, or unreleased information for the purpose of rumor mill and gossip, think of your loved ones. Think of those who may need your help. No matter how much they seem to have, depression and addiction never discriminate. What they really may need is support from those whom they love.
Take the First Step. Call Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat 866.273.0868 or visit our website. Hemet Valley Recovery Center Retreat offers a full continuum of care including: Acute Medical Detoxification, Rehabilitation, Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Recovery Residences.Related articles