Vicky Pattison has urged people to be more mindful about what they say on social media about this year’s Love Island stars, as she called out the “internet culture of hate”.
The former Geordie Shore and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star talked about the “detrimental and irreversible” effect that people’s “thoughtless words and reckless opinions” may have on the mental health of somebody.
Pattison wrote in an Instagram post that she “made the mistake of reading some people’s comments on social media when I couldn’t sleep” about this year’s series of Love Island.
She wrote: “I’m not going to lie I was both shocked and saddened by what I read.
“Regardless of who your favourite is on this show, who you ‘ship’, who you want to win, if you’re mad that someone’s left, or angry someone stayed, no matter what you actually may think or be saying in your group chat with your mates I urge you to be more mindful across social media.
“Why are people still attacking these islanders with such verbal vitriol?! Do you know them personally?! Of course not! Have they done anything to warrant it?! No way. Are they human?! YES!
“These people are no different to you and me and they have feelings and these hateful comments with have ramifications we can’t even begin to understand.”
In her post, she paid tribute to former Love Island stars Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, who both took their own lives after appearing on the ITV2 reality show, saying they “left this world all too soon not knowing just how loved they were”.
Pattison said: “It’s so ludicrous to me that after everything that’s happened this past year I’m still having to urge people to be kind, but here we are.”
She said that the issue is not confined to reality TV, adding that “online hate and cyber bullying” are “destroying” people.
“Think before you type. Your words have gravity,” she added.
“Please be better than this internet culture of hate. Do not allow it to breed. Be kind, be compassionate. Be human.
“Let’s put the ‘love’ back in ‘love island’ for Sophie & Mike.”
Gradon, who appeared on Love Island in 2016, was found hanged at her home last year.
An inquest later heard she had taken her own life after consuming alcohol and cocaine.
Thalassitis, who appeared in the 2017 series, was found hanged in a park in March.
The deaths of Gradon and Thalassitis have led to increased scrutiny on ITV over the reality show’s aftercare.
The broadcaster recently announced an enhanced duty of care process for participants on the show, including a minimum of eight therapy sessions.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has launched an inquiry into reality TV following the deaths of Gradon, Thalassitis, and The Jeremy Kyle Show participant Steve Dymond.