Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide
Just hours before the latest announcement of the Love Island 2021 cast was revealed, the ITV show has urged people via their Instagram page to ‘think before you post’ on social media in hopes that this will alleviate the onslaught of online abuse.
Their statement read: “YOU’VE GOT A TEXT! Tomorrow we will be revealing the cast for Love Island 2021… These Islanders are all single and ready to find love. We can’t wait to watch them get to know each other, date and maybe even find the one. We’re so grateful they’re letting us follow their journey this summer. We hope you enjoy the show, but please think before you post.”
The Love Island host, Laura Whitmore, reinforced this message through her Instagram post: “Hope you enjoy talking about them and following their journey and just a reminder to treat them with love, compassion and respect when they leave the show and go back to real life.”
The announcement comes at a time when an ongoing rise of social media has enabled viewers to engage with stars on the reality show in ways that have often been more harmful than harmless. The tragic suicides of Caroline Flack (former Love Island host) and two former contestants (Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis) have only proven to be a strong example of this.
This year it was also revealed that contestants will be offered a “minimum of eight therapy sessions, social media training, and support with online abuse under ITV’s new welfare plans.” It was also stated that: “additional comprehensive psychological support will be given to contestants before, during and after the show.” The show’s huge following has meant that extensive protocol has been required to be put in place for the contestants taking part. Despite extending the duty of care protocols, fans have been urged to be careful and how they communicate online.
By Jemima Pallister
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