ITV has issued a stern warning to Love Island fans after the family of contestant Chloe Burrows were left dealing with death threats against her.
The Islander became the target of abuse after she chose to recouple with Aaron Francis, inadvertently leading to Shannon Singh’s early exit on Wednesday night’s episode.
Her family said they had subsequently seen hundreds of messages including death threats posted on social media.
ITV has since condemned them as “wholly unacceptable” and said it takes “matters extremely seriously”.
A statement posted on the show’s official social media accounts read: “We want Love Island to be a positive experience for all of our cast and their friends and family members.
“Last night’s episode created strong reactions but some viewers’ posts were wholly unacceptable.
“We take these matters extremely seriously and will support cast members and their families in reporting such posts.
“We would once again urge all of our viewers to think before posting, and remember that our Islanders are people with feelings.”
It comes after a statement from Chloe’s friends and family on the contestant’s Instagram story, which said: “We hate to introduce ourselves under such vile circumstances but we’ve had enough after just 3 episodes.
“We all have thick skin but the amount of trolling Chloe has been receiving is absolutely disgusting.
“This morning we woke up to yet another DM (see next story) encouraging Chloe to kill herself – there have been HUNDREDS.”
Referring to suicides of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis and former host Caroline Flack, the statement added: “Have the deaths of Sophie, Mike, and Caroline taught us nothing?
“Not only that, but people are flooding her inbox threatening to kill her themselves. People… this is a GAME show, there is a cash prize!
“We understand the frustration surrounding @shannonsinghh’s eviction – we feel it too!
“She didn’t deserve to leave so early but Chloe does not deserve to DIE because Shannon had to leave the villa! She will have had no idea of the repercussions of her decisions prior to making it.
“We are not naive. We know that this post won’t put an end to trolling.
“All the advice we get is to ‘ignore it’ and ‘block the trolls’, sometimes it’s not that easy. Our hope is that this just reminds some of you #BeKind x.”
Ahead of the return of the series, ITV published duty of care protocols for contestants, who will be offered a minimum of eight therapy sessions on their return home and will receive training on the impact of social media and “how to handle potential negativity”, as well as training on financial management.
Among the processes detailed for all contributors on Love Island are “comprehensive psychological support”, “detailed conversations on the impact of participation on the show” and a “proactive aftercare package”, ITV said.
Love Island continues on Friday at 9pm on ITV2.
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