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Republished: We all must learn from the #CharlotteDawson saga

February 24, 2014

journlaw

With the sad news of the death of television personality Charlotte Dawson over the weekend,  I repost this commentary I wrote for The Australian  in September, 2012  after she had attempted to take her own life.

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By MARK PEARSON

[Note: First published in The Australian on September 3, 2012.]

THERE are important lessons for us all in the near tragic saga of TV personality Charlotte Dawson and Twitter. [2014 note: clearly, it is now tragic]

And those lessons must be learnt not just by the media, but also by policymakers and the broader community.

The story of Dawson’s hospitalisation [in 2012] after receiving a torrent of life-threatening and demeaning tweets contained all the contradictions of our Web 2.0 world: risk versus reward, connection versus alienation, celebrity versus anonymity and freedom versus censorship.

When Dawson revealed a Monash University staffer was the source…

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