Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda Williams has had enough of the cyber bullying after her father committed suicide on Monday. She allegedly quit the social media site, Twitter, to stop the psychological harassment from its users. Time reported on Aug. 13 two Twitter users sent Zelda malicious photos of her deceased father, apparently “photoshopped.” After deleting her post, she tweeted an apology saying she should have “risen above” and said “goodbye” to her followers.
In the tweet, Zelda asked her followers to report the two users (@)PimpStory and (@)MrGoosebuster because she felt she was too shaken up to report them herself. She also posted a message on Instagram which stated she would leave her account for a while to give herself time to heal from her father’s suicide. She added that her favorite photos of her family are framed in her house, not on social media sites and asked for understanding in her difficult time.
Suicides that are linked to a mental illness carries a stigma in societies permeating in popular social media sites. When a loved one successfully commits suicide (as opposed to attempts), it is estimated it personally affects at least 6 people within the person’s circle of family and friends. The latest statistics from the American Association of Suicidology on suicide rates reports one person commits suicide every 13.3 minutes and is ranked 10th in the leading cause of deaths. The risks of suicidal tendencies are greater in individuals with a diagnosis of depression.
It is difficult to understand the psychological effects suicide has for family and friends, but to deluge the situation with blatant ignorance via social media increases the emotional toll on the loved ones left behind. No one is immune to suicidal thoughts, which includes high profile celebrities. Robin Williams was a high profile celebrity. His status increases the ignorant interactions affecting not only his daughter, Zelda, but his other family members and the numerous friends and fans he left behind.