Instagram star reveals she’s been forced to block 200,000 trolls

An Instagram star has revealed she is constantly bombarded with abuse online which has forced her to block at least 200,000 trolls.

Andreea Cristina Bolbea, who is based between LA and Las Vegas boasts almost 1.2 million followers on the social media site and rose to internet fame in 2012. Since then, her ‘influencer’ status has seen her model for Sports Illustrated, collaborate with Coca Cola and Sephora and be named as a top influencer by Forbes.

But the beauty blogger, 30, said the price of becoming a public figure is that she has suffered harassment and bullying, including people telling her ‘I hope you die’, which has left her in tears. 

Instagram influencer Andreea Cristina Bolbea, 30, who is based between LA and Las Vegas has received so much online abuse and harassment that she's blocked at least 200,000 trolls 

Instagram influencer Andreea Cristina Bolbea, 30, who is based between LA and Las Vegas has received so much online abuse and harassment that she's blocked at least 200,000 trolls 

Instagram influencer Andreea Cristina Bolbea, 30, who is based between LA and Las Vegas has received so much online abuse and harassment that she’s blocked at least 200,000 trolls 

One stalker believes he is in a relationship with Andreea despite the fact that she is married to soccer star Bryan Gaul, 29 (pictured), and has shared images of them on her account

One stalker believes he is in a relationship with Andreea despite the fact that she is married to soccer star Bryan Gaul, 29 (pictured), and has shared images of them on her account

One stalker believes he is in a relationship with Andreea despite the fact that she is married to soccer star Bryan Gaul, 29 (pictured), and has shared images of them on her account

Beach babe: The Instagram star, who regularly posts swimsuit photos on her account, has amassed a legion of followers - and now makes money from sponsored posts

Beach babe: The Instagram star, who regularly posts swimsuit photos on her account, has amassed a legion of followers - and now makes money from sponsored posts

Beach babe: The Instagram star, who regularly posts swimsuit photos on her account, has amassed a legion of followers - and now makes money from sponsored posts

Beach babe: The Instagram star, who regularly posts swimsuit photos on her account, has amassed a legion of followers - and now makes money from sponsored posts

Beach babe: The Instagram star, who regularly posts swimsuit photos on her account, has amassed a legion of followers – and now makes money from sponsored posts

Andreea has received hundreds of creepy comments from men and even faced threats in real life after being targeted by multiple stalkers. 

In one case, a man who cannot be named for legal reasons inundated her with emails and became angry when she didn’t reply.

She says he then flew 1,000 miles from Texas to her parents’ home and left packages marked with his name on the doorstep.

Andreea said another man believes he is in a relationship with her despite her being publicly married to soccer star Bryan Gaul, 29.

She shared her shocking story as part of Broadly’s anti-stalking campaign, Unfollow Me, which aims to raise awareness about stalking and domestic violence.

Andreea, who was born in Romania and now splits her time between Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California, said: ‘I must have blocked at least 200,000 people.

‘I’m trying to filter my audience to people who are there for the right reasons. It was just more and more people following me for honestly the wrong reasons.

The influencer, pictured on a trip to Paris, said 30 to 40 men a day will follow her just to write abusive comments, calling her a 'whore' or a 'gold digger'

The influencer, pictured on a trip to Paris, said 30 to 40 men a day will follow her just to write abusive comments, calling her a 'whore' or a 'gold digger'

The influencer, pictured on a trip to Paris, said 30 to 40 men a day will follow her just to write abusive comments, calling her a ‘whore’ or a ‘gold digger’

Andreea reveals she's been left in tears over the abuse with people saying that they hope she dies, or verbally attacking her husband 

Andreea reveals she's been left in tears over the abuse with people saying that they hope she dies, or verbally attacking her husband 

Andreea reveals she’s been left in tears over the abuse with people saying that they hope she dies, or verbally attacking her husband 

‘I would get 30 to 40 men a day and was like, ‘What are you following me for? I’m giving makeup and skincare advice.’

‘People would say, ‘You are a whore,’ or ‘You are gold digger.’

‘Other people say, ‘You are a prostitute,’ ‘I hope you die,’ ‘I hope your cat dies,’ or they attack my husband.

‘It is terrible. It feels like a knife to the gut. Why would somebody hate so much? It just completely ruins your day.

‘I have probably spent at least three to four weeks being depressed and sad because of things that have been said to me on the internet.’

At one point, Andreea ended up closing her page for six months after being inundated with abusive comments.

She later made her profile private but was flooded with thousands of follow requests.

Now she will block anyone who writes something creepy, threatening or nasty but says people still find a way of getting to her.

They will create multiple accounts or contact her via old email addresses, she said.

As a safety precaution, Andreea has stopped posting her exact location online until she has left that spot because she fears someone getting to her in real life.

But in June 2015, one stalker managed to locate her address and sent her a note saying he had flown to her hometown and was staying nearby.

The influencer, pictured on a hike in LA, instantly blocks people who leave offensive messages, but they often just create another account 

The influencer, pictured on a hike in LA, instantly blocks people who leave offensive messages, but they often just create another account 

The influencer, pictured on a hike in LA, instantly blocks people who leave offensive messages, but they often just create another account 

Andreea was left terrified when one stalker took issue with her getting a tattoo without his 'permission'. The same man is convinced he's in a relationship with the married blogger

Andreea was left terrified when one stalker took issue with her getting a tattoo without his 'permission'. The same man is convinced he's in a relationship with the married blogger

Andreea was left terrified when one stalker took issue with her getting a tattoo without his ‘permission’. The same man is convinced he’s in a relationship with the married blogger

Andreea said: ‘He had discovered everything single email address I had and he would always put the same thing in the subject line.

‘It was like, “I’m such a fan, I love you”. I would never respond and he grew increasingly angry.

‘Then it turned to, “I have a mind to fly to Vegas and find you”. 

‘The next thing I knew, my mom texted me, ‘Someone dropped off a letter in our door.’

Andreea said the onus shouldn't be on the victim to hide away from the world if they're receiving online abuse 

Andreea said the onus shouldn't be on the victim to hide away from the world if they're receiving online abuse 

Andreea said the onus shouldn’t be on the victim to hide away from the world if they’re receiving online abuse 

‘Then I got an email saying, “I flew to Vegas. I’m staying at Hooters Hotel and Casino and I’m here for a month. ‘You need to come talk to me, I’m not leaving without getting some face time”.’

Andreea reported the behavior to police but a restraining order was never implemented because the perpetrator couldn’t be located.

In a separate incident, Andreea said a man became convinced he was dating her despite her being very publicly married.

When she got a tattoo, he sent her an email saying: ‘Why would you ever get a tattoo without asking me first?’

Andreea said: ‘They think they know you which gives way to these people that become obsessive and feel like they are part of your life.’

She has called for Instagram and other social media sites to do more to tackle threatening behavior and abuse on their platforms.

Whenever she spots a malicious or fraudulent account, she enlists her entire office to report it so it’s taken down swiftly – otherwise, she says, it can take up to three days.

‘I get asked, “Why do you put yourself out there for the world to judge?”.

Andreea wants social media companies to do more to crack down on people creating multiple accounts that they use to harass and abuse people 

Andreea wants social media companies to do more to crack down on people creating multiple accounts that they use to harass and abuse people 

Andreea wants social media companies to do more to crack down on people creating multiple accounts that they use to harass and abuse people 

‘That is completely true, however I should never feel scared or threatened because I choose to share what kind of face creams I like.

‘If someone is making dozens of accounts it would be easy for social media apps like Instagram to block the IPs of people that are creating repetitive accounts, but instead the burden falls on the victim to constantly report these pages.

‘They can pop up every day. You can’t keep up. There needs to be a lot more diligence.’

A spokeswoman for Instagram said: ‘We want to maintain a safe and supportive environment on Instagram.

‘These guidelines outline what is and isn’t allowed on Instagram. If someone violates these guidelines, we will take action.

‘We process millions of reports every week, and the vast majority of reports are reviewed within 24 hours.’

Andreea is speaking out as part of the Unfollow Me campaign by the website Broadly which aims to highlight the issues of stalking and domestic violence.

The site has partnered with anti-stalking charity Paladin to call for the introduction of a Stalkers’ Register in the UK, similar to the national Sex Offenders’ Register.

If you are being stalked, you can call the Stalking Resource Center in the US on 855-484-2846 or Paladin in the UK on 020 3866 4107.

 

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