Zooey Deschanel has hit out at the vicious nature of anonymous comments and tweets on the internet.
The actress is the star of hit US comedy New Girl and has 4.6million followers on Twitter, but after an initial popularity spike when she found fame, she soon found herself the subject of criticism online.
"My theory is that people in this day and age want to dismiss things. So they want to be able to dismiss you," she tells Marie Claire. "They say, 'You don't belong, you don't deserve this because here's why, and let me find an intellectual argument for why you wearing pink or cuff sleeves or a bow makes you not worthy of your accomplishments. Everything you've done doesn't matter because you wore the wrong thing or you speak in a way that's feminine or you identify yourself as feminine.' And I just think that's bulls**t. And smart people are doing it, and that's surprising to me. I'll give them being smart, but they're being very shortsighted."
Deschanel's comments come at a time when online bullying is firmly in the spotlight. And the actress says that often the criticism is not about the her work, adding that the anonymous nature of it, makes it worse.
"It's just attacking who I am," she continues. "A lot of times it doesn't have to do with what I get paid to do. It has to do with, 'Oh, you stupid person.'" Part of the reason she started a new website was to create a positive place online for girls. "Even I get slammed and overwhelmed by how negative the Internet can get, and I'm an adult. I don't pay any mind to it, but it's pretty shocking how when you give people anonymity-it's like the worst of human nature."
In response she has created hellogiggles.com - a humour website for girls, where gossip and nastiness are forbidden.
"I just felt it's important to teach young girls to be strong people, to not think, I can't do this because I'm worried about what people will say… When somebody says, 'That idea's stupid,' you stop your flow of ideas. We can't have the next generation be so afraid because they have been attacked."