A girl who was targeted with vile abuse from online trolls over her facial deformities has died at the age of 10.
Sophia Weaver from North Carolina passed away from complications of Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder, which affects brain development and leads to the decline of language, breathing, walking, motor and social skills.
Weaver, who had been living in a hospice after undergoing 20 surgeries, had at one point become the target of online harassment and trolling after her image was used in an offensive tweet about abortion.
The user wrote: "It is okay to think that every child matters, however a lot of them do not hence the amnio test. (It) should be a mandatory test and if it proves negative and the woman does not want to abort then all bills accrued after that is on her and the father."
Natalie Weaver, Sophia’s mother, hit back at Twitter’s lack of action, saying: “@TwitterSupport Just received an email that Twitter doesn’t think a person using my child’s image as the poster child to ABORT & to weed out all the ‘defectives’ in utero is a violation. Why? Bc they won’t recognize hate toward ppl w/ disabilities in their regulations/reports.”
After the internet came to Sophia and Natalie’s defence, the social media platform removed the tweet and suspended the poster. However, this was not an isolated incident, and Sophia and her family continued to receive both harassment and support, which influenced Natalie to become an activist and advocate for children with disabilities.
Prior to her death, Sophia and her mother began to check items off the pre-teen’s bucket list, including green hair extensions.
“Once we pull ourselves from this shattering pain we will continue to help others in her memory.” said Natalie Weaver in an Instagram post on Friday.
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