A BARNSLEY singer isn’t letting the latest barrage of online abuse get her down and has urged people to speak out about bullying.

Holly Tandy, 19, received several unkind messages from members of the public at the weekend.

The singer, who came to attention when she competed in the 14th season of The X Factor when she was just 15, said she tried not to let the messages upset her.

“I was bullied in school and as much as I don’t like receiving the messages I have learned how to deal with people saying mean things about me,” said Holly, from Darton.
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“I learned that ignoring what they say isn’t always the best option and sometimes I fight fire with fire and reply to comments to make sure that that person realises I am a human too, and that words can hurt.

“A lot of people hide behind their computer screens and say things they wouldn’t say to anyone’s face and I want people to know that it’s not OK and you don’t have to take it.”

Holly has received comments on her social media platforms, and has even received death threats from strangers.

“On some days it does get to me,” added Holly. “Some days I will read the comments and they affect me, but with me entering The X Factor at a young age, I have developed a thick skin when it comes to this, and I have learned to block the person and move on and not spend time dwelling on it.

“I think some of the comments stem from the fact that people still think I am 15,” she said. “I’m 19, and have control over what I post on social media and I don’t think people realised that I have grown up in the past four years, and I’m not a child.

“People comment on my appearance and criticise things I do and don’t think how their words can affect the person reading it.

“Now, a lot of our lives are on social media and online and the internet isn’t always a nice place. People are always so quick to judge and pass comment but wouldn’t like it if it was done to them.”

To help others, Holly has come up with three ways she deals with online trolls which she hopes will help others.

“My first tip would be to tell someone - whether that’s your parents, partner, friends, or teacher. If you tell someone then they can help support you through it and can help you get help if you need it.

“The second is to take action. You can block that person, or respond to them.

“The third tip is to move on. What that person wants is for you to get upset about what they have said but I find it helps to let it go and move on.

“Usually the people who give hate to others have something going on with themselves. At the end of the day it says more about them, that they choose to send hate to people they’ve never even met, than it does about you.”

Despite the messages, Holly is looking forward to the release of her next EP which is due to be released this year.