Why Would Bird Watching Attract the Attention of Online Trolls?
It would appear that some people will take offence at anything, even bird watchers! A schoolgirl who became the youngest person to spot 4,000 birds now been forced to endure online abuse on a daily basis.
A Target at 7 years Old
Maya-Rose Craig is fourteen years old and has travelled the world with her parents to enjoy birdwatching. Her parents have now been forced to step in to protect her from a barrage of online abuse. Maya-Rose first became a target when she was 7 years old after taking part in a BBC documentary. But when she started using social media in 2014, her problems began to get worse.
The enterprising youngster has now spotted 4,400 different birds and writes a popular blog about her travels. This has received more than 1.7 million views, a truly impressive achievement.
The online attacks are often racially motivated as Maya-Rose is a Muslim. The comments can be utterly hateful and extremely personal. He parents remove as many of the comments as possible before she sees them. Sadly, Maya Rose is now considering giving up social media completely as she is still receiving up to five unpleasant messages every day.
The young birdwatcher has travelled far and wide to destinations including Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Egypt, Malaysia, Majorca and Australia. She has been interested in birds since she was a small child. Following her appearance on the BBC documentary, a thread was established on a popular birdwatching forum specifically to criticise her. Incredibly this attracted 85,000 views and a ridiculous 800 comments before being shut down.
But the trolls haven’t stopped Maya-Rose from searching for birds. Her record breaking 4,000th sighting was of a red-throated tit at Swara Plains, in Kenya. She hopes to see 5,400 birds by the time she is 18 and this number represents half of the known species in the world. She is keen to become a TV presenter when she grows up.
Maya-Rose has found the horrendous abuse difficult to handle but is determined not to let it change her or ruin her life. The comments do have an impact but she tries not to dwell on what has been said.
How incredible that anyone, let alone so many people, could abuse a young girl in this way. Maya-Rose is an amazing teenager who should be congratulated not trolled and one can only hope that she can find a way to escape the nasty comments.