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Chelsea Clinton Explains Why She’s Stopped Ignoring Online Trolls

Few children were more thoroughly introduced to the then-brand-new wave of internet bullying than Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Though she experienced targeting by bullies while she lived in the White House, Clinton, now 38, wants to show her children there’s another way to handle people’s hatred: head on.

On The Tonight Show, Clinton told host Jimmy Fallon that she wants to set a good example for her kids:

I don’t want my children to see me ignoring it. I want them to see me engaging with radical kindness and empathy.

Most people familiar with the internet give similar advice: don’t acknowledge the trolls, it only makes them stronger. Clinton isn’t sure this is true, however, and she’s had to deal with them more than most:

I used to ignore the trolls. I used to kind of follow the ‘don’t give them oxygen, don’t feed them approach. But I think that could have been interpreted as being kind of complicit in that ugliness.

Clinton thinks that there are times to let a conflict go, and other times when one must stand up for themself:

I can’t respond to all of it because that would consume every minute of every day — and maybe part of my soul. But I do think it’s important to respond to some of it and to show that this is not OK

Clinton was appearing on The Tonight Show to plug her new book, “Start Now! You Can Make a Difference.” The book, aimed at children, talks about how even young people can change their world for the better:

I had to kind of tell stories about 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds who are making a difference. It tackles some of the questions that I was concerned about at that age.

Hopefully, there’s a story inside about how to deal with online bullies because Clinton seems to have some sage advice on the matter!

H/T – ABC News, VOA News

Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--