Erin Molan has slammed ‘scum of the earth’ internet trolls while Anthony Seibold has told 60 Minutes a person with some ‘very high-profile friends’ was responsible for a recent online smear campaign against him.
The Channel 9 presenter and ex-Brisbane Broncos coach will both share their stories of the toll cyber-bullying has taken on them in a segment to be aired on Sunday night.
“It just really hurts you, you go to some pretty dark places,” Molan, who is a popular target of online trolls, told Channel 9’s 60 Minutes .
“… You’re not big, you’re not tough, you’re scum of the earth.”
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“… Every single Australian should be terrified about what is going on online at the moment.”
The anti-social media. SUNDAY on #60Mins, how trolls are encouraged to run rampant by the tech giants making money from mayhem. Is there any way victims can fight back against the cowards of the keyboard? pic.twitter.com/BRVzpPLFQl
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) October 7, 2020
Seibold was at the victim of vicious online rumours in August.
The unfounded claims that went viral on social media led the 46-year-old to remain in Sydney following the Broncos’ Round 13 loss to the Rabbitohs to attend to what was described at the time as a family emergency.
It proved to be Seibold’s final game in charge of the Broncos, with the 2018 Dally M Coach of the Year leaving the club by mutual agreement with three years remaining on his contract.
“My situation went viral on social media, defamatory comments, my reputation was ruined,” Seibold told 60 Minutes.
“It’s been pretty tough, particularly the last couple of months. In some ways it’s like the wild west out there. My situation went viral with defamatory comments. My reputation was ruined in a lot of respects.
“I don’t know what the motivation was for those messages.
“It’s vicious. As I said, there’s no accountability in and around social media platforms.”
“The very last message on social media was the one that probably upset me the most because it spoke about my daughter.”
Seibold proceeded to hire a team of investigators to find the individuals responsible and has reported the abuse to NSW Police.
On the episode of 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Seibold revealed the person who started the online rumours is an employee from NSWRL.
“This particular person’s got some very high profile friends from within our game,” Seibold said.
“It’s someone who makes a living from our game. There’s someone who is part of this coversation who has added to the rumours, through messages who’s then forwarded on to social media platforms.
“That’s what so ironic and tell you these names you know, I can’t sit here and tell you these names because 60 Minutes could be charged. because, you know, it’s crazy.
“I’d like to see some people made accountable.”