An Australian man has pleaded guilty to posting abusive messages & sending rape threats to women in a comments section of a Tinder profile that was shared online last year.
Last August, a screenshot of Olivia Melville’s Tinder profile was posted on social network Facebook.
The picture showed Melville’s dating profile, where she had quoted a line from Drake song “Only” in her bio, that read: “The type of girl that will suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you.”
And after being posted on Facebook by Chris Hall, the image received a host of comments and shares from people around the world.
One of the commenters was Zane Alchin, who posted over 50 messages on the social platform, many of them abusive and derogatory.
The first read: “Stay classy ladies. I’m surprised she’d still be hungry for lunch.”
The 25-year-old soon started to engage with Melville’s friends, who had joined the discussion to defend & support her, abusing them and even sending rape threats.
These included comments such as: “You know the best thing about a feminist they don’t get any action so when you rape them it feels 100 times tighter.”
In another, sent to a woman supporting Melville, Alchin said: “I’d rape you if you were better looking”.
After the profile was posted on Facebook, Melville said she received a host of abuse from people online, telling ABC News: “I couldn’t go home after work for five days. I couldn’t be alone and I was really scared.
“I was getting all these messages from people, and that was the most frightening thing – people were just bombarding me, abusing me, and saying I was in the wrong.”
Following the ordeal, Melville and her friends started the campaign group, Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced, which aims to raise awareness about sexism and online abuse.
Melville said: “The more people speak out about these things, the bigger chance we have to change our current culture that accepts sexual violence.”
Alchin’s comments were handed to police last year and he was arrested in October for online trolling and sending abusive messages.
In January, Alchin pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying that when the comments were posted, he had been drinking and therefore what he said did not reflect him as a person.
He also claimed he did not know that such comments were illegal.
However, in a court appearance on Monday, Alchin’s lawyer revealed that he would now be pleading guilty to using a carrier service to menace, harass, or cause offence.
Alchin will be sentenced on July 29th, and could face up to three years in prison.