ABC News Breakfast co-host Lisa Millar has deactivated her Twitter account after enduring months of vile abuse from other users of the social media platform.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE QUOTES LANGUAGE THAT READERS MAY FIND DISTRESSING.
Last month, a Twitter user described Lisa Millar as “a whiny fake overly aggressive bitch.” Millar was tagged into that tweet, as well as this one from a different user last year: “You are becoming a bitch with your pathetic interviews. Leave [Scott] Morrison to do his own dirty work.”
A tweet from February simply reads “@LisaMillar fuck you bitch.” In May, the same user wrote that Millar “would have to be the dumbest bitch i’ve [sic] ever come across and so fucking conservative it makes me sick listening to her.”
After Millar interviewed Jim Chalmers last year, a Twitter user wrote “Chalmers is very impressive, it was a joy to behold watching him swat away that right wing bitch @LisaMillar with ease.” But a tweet from a different user in 2019 expressed an antithetical view of Millar’s politics: “Stupid archetypal left wing ABC bitch.”
As Lisa Millar was tagged into many of these abusive tweets, some of them may have appeared in her notifications.
The toxic abuse wasn’t limited to Twitter. Last year, Millar’s Wikipedia page was vandalised by one of her detractors to state that she “isn’t very good” at her job.
News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland confirmed yesterday that Millar had deactivated her Twitter account as a result of “distressing personal attacks.” The news sparked hundreds of messages of support for Millar, but some users claimed that she had deserved the abuse, while others were reluctant to believe that Millar had been vilified at all.
One comment declared: “The woman is a paid propogandist [sic] for the Nationals.”
Women in the media have faced heightened misogyny in the last two years. Sumeyya Ilanbey, Leigh Sales, Rachel Baxendale, Alice Workman, Louise Milligan and Lisa Millar have all been on the receiving end of sexist attacks on Twitter. As the platform fails to moderate this content, it becomes an increasingly toxic environment. The perpetrators are rarely suspended, so the onus is placed on the victims to avoid abuse — and sometimes, the only solution is to leave.