Harassment and threats online are just as real as the face-to-face variety, and actress Ashley Judd hopes to make that point perfectly clear as she fires back at the Internet trolls who recently lashed out at her.
"The amount of gender violence that I experienced is absolutely extraordinary," Judd told TODAY correspondent Craig Melvin in an interview that aired Tuesday. "A significant part of my day today will be spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that's directed at me on social media."
The violent threats Judd is referring to kicked off on Twitter moments after she tweeted a slam against her alma mater's Southeastern Conference Championship rivals Sunday night.
"If I were in a more calmed state of mind I would [have] phrased [it] differently," she explained during a sit-down on MSNBC Monday. "I might have said, 'I am really disappointed what seems like ultra-aggressive play' ... instead of what I wrote, 'I think Arkansas is playing dirty.'"
But what the Kentucky Wildcats fan learned wasn't a lesson in the finer points of sports tough talk. Instead, she learned the risk of being of simply being a woman who shared a polarizing opinion online.
When Melvin asked Judd if there were really "that many people" who lashed out, she replied, "That many people, that explicit, that overt."
So explicit, we can't even share many of the comments here. (But you can read some of them for yourself on Judd's Twitter feed.)
Judd is far from the only one who's faced similar vulgar and violent harassment — Curt Shilling recently vowed to explore legal options following the harassment his teen daughter endured — and while it remains to be seen if anything will come of the legal side of things, Twitter is listening.
"We now review five times as many user reports as we did previously," Twitter said in a statement to NBC News. "And we have tripled the size of the support team focused on handled abuse reports."
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