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Rachel Riley reveals sexually explicit DMs sent by trolls on Instagram

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achel Riley has documented the “revolting” DMs she receives from trolls on Instagram.

The Countdown star revealed she has received fake porn images of herself as she spoke out against the wave of “misogynistic” abuse she receives on social media.

TV presenter Riley called on social media companies to do more to protect and keep women safe when using their platforms.

Researchers from the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) were given access to her account and found 26 videos sent by one man performing a sex act on himself and unsolicited late night messages detailing sexual fantasies about her.

Also, she received nine fake porn images of herself including where her head was edited on to a nude model engaging in a sexual act.

Riley admitted the extreme content she receives in direct messages “turned her stomach”.

Speaking as an ambassador for the CCDH, she said: “It really makes me not want to go into my DMs at all because it’s revolting. It’s astounding to know that strangers are sending porn – it empowers them to know that it’s gone to your inbox.

“On Instagram, anyone can privately send you something that should be illegal. If they did it on the street, they’d be arrested.

“For women in the public eye, receiving a constant stream of rude, inappropriate and even abusive messages to your DMs [direct messages] is unfortunately inevitable, and the fact that this happens away from public view makes it all the more intrusive.

“Instagram and other platforms have a duty to keep the women who use their sites safe but at the moment there isn’t enough being done to protect them.”

The report saw five prominent women give access to their direct messages (DMs) on Instagram to the online safety group, including Riley and actress Amber Heard.

CCDH said it had found an “epidemic of misogynist abuse” that was being “ignored” by the platform as 90% of the offending accounts remained active after sending abusive content and being reported.

They added the abuse Riley receives was not uncommon for women.

In a statement, Cindy Southworth, Meta’s head of women’s safety, said: “While we disagree with many of the CCDH’s conclusions, we do agree that the harassment of women is unacceptable.

“That’s why we don’t allow gender-based hate or any threat of sexual violence, and last year we announced stronger protections for female public figures. Messages from people you don’t follow go to a separate request inbox where you can either block or report the sender, or you can turn off message requests altogether.

“Calls from people you don’t know only go through if you accept their message request and we offer a way to filter abusive messages so you never have to see them.”

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