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Shobna Gulati abused on Twitter

Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati has spoken out about the abuse she received on Twitter. The actress has left the social network after being subjected to racist messages, and mutilated photos being posted online.

Gulati plays Sunita Allahan in the soap. She told The Sun: "Being racially abused on Twitter really shook me up. It felt like going back in time to the 1970s." Messages included tweets saying "You’re not British, you’re foreign," and the alarming: "I’ll always be here to bother you."

"It put me in mind of a psycho — like a horror movie. I just decided enough was enough." Gulati ended her Twitter activity and sympathises with others who have been abused on the network "I tried to ignore it but it started to affect my confidence. Violent, vitriolic hatred gives people their moment in the spotlight. It beggars belief."

Gulati’s comments coincide with something of a backlash against Twitter. After its phenomenal growth, the potential for abusive behaviour is beginning to emerge. There is now a willingness to challenge the internet "trolls" who believe they can act with impunity.

Conservative MP Louise Mensch recently won a case against Frank Zimmerman, who was found guilty of sending her abusive messages via Twitter. In that case, the law related to the offence of "sending by public communication network an offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing message or matter." There could soon be a multitude of similar cases using the precedent of Mensch’s action, unless Twitter can find a way of controlling the abusive behaviour of some of its users.

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