JUST hours before being admitted to the emergency room at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital early yesterday morning, television personality Charlotte Dawson had been posing for photographers at one of the glittering soirees she regularly attends.
Embroiled in weeks of online aggression on Twitter, in which her well-documented battles with depression were raised, about 2am today Dawson posted: ''Hope this ends the misery'' and ''You win x''.
Police and ambulance were called to Ms Dawson's Darlinghurst apartment at 3.05am yesterday.
The incident followed hours of online abuse, in which scores of Twitter users ramped up an online campaign against Dawson, calling for her to k*ll herself and sending pornographic images and graphic photos of bloodied corpses to her account.
Ms Dawson was later admitted to St Vincent's Hospital. A hospital spokesman said she was expected to make a full recovery.
But it emerged yesterday that many of the posts - while under different names - appeared to be the work of the same person.
In recent weeks, Dawson has been the victim of repetitive bullying on Twitter. She had taken to re-tweeting the abuse she suffered at the hands of anonymous strangers.
She told Fairfax on Tuesday: ''I always bite back, I know it's my problem, but I can't just let it go without having something to say.''
While Dawson appeared to be handling the situation well, she admitted, ''it has certainly taken a toll, and yes, you're right, I probably should just ignore it, but that's never been my style''.
The case has outraged Twitter users, who have called for compassion in social media.
Mamamia website publisher Mia Freedman wrote, ''There needs to be a way for abusive trolls on Twitter to be held accountable for their harassment. It'd be illegal to do that in person,'' while ABC 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales wrote, ''I'm appalled at people's cruelty''.
People who abuse others on Twitter could fall foul of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, which prohibits using ''a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence or for the purposes of a threat''.
University of Canberra senior lecturer in journalism and communications Jason Wilson said people could be motivated to post anonymous abuse at strangers for a range of motivations including attention and notoriety.
He said women, celebrities and social media newcomers were more likely to suffer vitriolic abuse online.
A spokesman at St Vincent's Hospital said Dawson remained in hospital yesterday. ''She's sitting up in bed, she's expected to make a full recovery and she asks that her privacy be respected,'' he said.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/bullied-tv-host-lands-in-hospital-**-253jy.html#ixzz252fpKAQw
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