The cyberbullying against during her trial with was so extreme that it’s one of the worst cases, a study has found.
For six weeks this summer, the world was gripped to the explosive libel trial between Heard, 36, and her ex-husband Depp, 59, after they sued each other.
Depp initially filed a lawsuit against the Aquaman actress over an article she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, detailing her experience with domestic abuse. The op-ed did not name Depp but the Pirates of the Caribbean actor argued that it was clearly about him and suggested he was physically and emotionally abusive towards her during their marriage.
A seven-person jury eventually in the article and awarded him $15million (£12m) as a result in damages.
Heard, who had counter-sued the actor, was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages.
Now, a study , a firm that studies disinformation campaigns and online harassment on social media, has looked at the reception Heard received on Twitter during the legal battle.
They studied 14,000 tweets from 3,288 accounts which used the hashtags: #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardLsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardIsALiar and #AmberHeardLsALiar, and fund and that the ‘intentional misspelling demonstrates a calculated effort to manipulate hashtag trends’ and was done to ‘to deceive Twitter’s algorithms’.
According to the study, 627 Twitter accounts were dedicated to ‘exclusively’ tweeting about Heard and her female supporters. Interestingly, over 24% of the accounts tweeting and using negative hashtags about Heard were created in the last seven months, but the average for other topics is typically 8.6%.
In their report, Bot Sentinel noted that Heard’s team reached out to the group in 2020 to study social media activity about her, separate to their study of the legal trial with Depp.
Sharing their findings, the firm said: ‘What we observed was one of the worst cases of cyberbullying and cyberstalking by a group of Twitter accounts that we’ve ever seen. It’s our opinion Twitter didn’t do enough to mitigate the platform manipulation and did very little to stop the abuse and targeted harassment.’
Heard has previously addressed the vitriol towards her during the trial, which was also prominent on TikTok, and recently told the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie: ‘Even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t tell me — look me in the eye and tell me — that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation.
‘You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.’