08/08/2018 12:42 BST | Updated 08/08/2018 13:38 BST

Love Island's Adam Collard And Zara McDermott Send Defiant Message To Online Trolls

'Just because we have a blue tick, we are not a punch bag.'

‘Love Island’ stars Adam Collard and Zara McDermott have sent a warning to internet trolls after being the victims of online abuse since leaving the villa. 

The couple have been flooded with thousands of abusive messages on social media following their appearance on this year’s series of the ITV2 reality show. 

However, they have defiantly told their detractors that they are no longer prepared to put up with their criticisms, and warned trolls of the impact their words could actually have on their own lives.

Love Island's Adam and Zara have been the target of trolls

Appearing on ‘Lorraine’ on Wednesday, Zara said: “I’m finding it so difficult not to defend myself against things. I’ve not had surgery.

“I’m not going to allow someone to cast that judgement on me when it’s not true.” 

Talking about being bullied at school, she continued: “Back then I was so shy and insecure. People used to shout comments at me really nasty things when I was walking round. I would almost curl up into a ball and just not respond. Now I feel like I am strong enough and confident enough to stand up to these people, because I’m just not having it. 

“The main message I would want to send to trolls and stuff, is remember what you are putting out there. If I’m an employer and I’m looking up a girl’s Instagram handle or a guy’s Instagram handle, I can see on Google all the negative comments they’ve made. Why would I then want to employ them? 

“You are leaving a footprint behind, it’s not ok. People need to really think about what they are posting.” 

Adam also spoke about the impact trolls had on former ‘Love Island’ star Sophie Gradon, who died earlier this year.

“She was in my friendship group as well,” he revealed. “When I knew Sophie, she was one of the strongest girls I knew. It proves it can get to anyone and people need to really think.” 

Adam was bullied for his weight as a child

Adam, who had brought an image of himself as a child into the show, also spoke about his own experiences at school.

He said: “I was quite overweight, all the way up to 16. But I could come home and get away from it then. But when it’s on Instagram and Twitter, you can’t really get away from it.

He added: “Just because we have a blue tick, we are not a punch bag to all these comments.”

‘Lorraine’ airs weekdays at 8.30am on ITV.  

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