Fearne Cotton reveals she messages trolls to try and ‘understand them’

·2-min read
 (Getty Images for Tusk Trust)
(Getty Images for Tusk Trust)

Podcaster and radio presenter Fearne Cotton has revealed that she sometimes messages trolls back in an attempt to understand them.

Speaking on an episode of Bryony Gordon’s podcast, Mad World, the 39-year-old talked about life in the public eye and being the target of nasty online trolls.

Cotton explained: “It’s human nature to focus on the negative, we all know that. And if you are in a public position, you just get that magnified.”

The broadcaster revealed that she finds the name-calling from trolls difficult to cope with and says it’s “unrealistic” to be able to ignore it.

Instead, she occasionally does “little experiments” where she messages them privately to see if they stand by the horrible things they said publicly.

She said: “I’m cool if someone’s got a different opinion to me ... but if it’s just ‘I don’t like you because you have a big nose’ or something stupid.

“Usually, if you message that person privately and say, ‘Hi, look, I just want to understand what it is that upsets you’, every time that person will send a message back saying, ‘I am mortified. I am so sorry, I was having the worst day, I don’t know why I just did that.’ I’ve had this happen on numerous occasions.”

Cotton is very open about her mental health struggles and that she has battled depression in the past. She spoke to podcast host Gordon about an incident where someone online replied, “Yawn” to a deeply personal article she’d posted about it.

She explained: “I was like, ‘Oh, wow, okay, I’d like to understand what that is, because maybe I am talking about this one subject too much.’

“I messaged her, and she was mortified. I said, ‘You don’t need to feel mortified, I just wanted to understand it, and I do now.

“I’ll send you loads of love and I wish you well, we’re all having a s*** time, we’re all trying our best.’”

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