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Janet Mbugua recounts being bullied for anchoring news while pregnant

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 26th, 2023 2 min read

In a society where social media platforms often serve as breeding grounds for negativity and cyberbullying, media personality Janet Mbugua has chosen to stand up against online trolls who targeted her during her pregnancy.

The mother of two recently took to her social media platforms to address the disturbing criticism she faced in 2015 while still a news anchor at Citizen TV.

Janet Mbugua, who was pregnant with her first child, Huru, at the time, faced a barrage of online criticism that included fat shaming and body shaming.

“In 2015 when I was a news anchor on Citizen TV, and pregnant with my firstborn, Huru, I was attacked online, with a lot of vitriol towards me for being ‘too pregnant’ 🤷🏾‍♀️ Yes, too pregnant. Make it make sense!” she expressed in her post.

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Janet will be moderating the rising cases of online violence in an international gender champs forum.

“A lot of the comments were asking for me to come back on the news after my Maternity Leave. I pushed back and had an amazing team and great bosses who backed me, but it was one example among many, of online sexism, that millions of people, but especially girls and women, continue to face.”

Speaking out against the cyberbullying she endured, Janet Mbugua called for stricter measures against those who engage in online harassment.

She stressed that such individuals should be treated like any other criminals.

In her opinion, the power to curb trolling lies with the public, citing instances where people’s social media pages were taken down due to cyberbullying reports.

Highlighting the psychological impact of cyberbullying, Janet Mbugua acknowledged that it leaves people feeling frustrated and hurt.

She shared her belief that many haters are, in fact, individuals projecting their own insecurities onto others.

While encouraging others not to take online trolls too seriously, Janet emphasized the importance of reporting such behavior.

Drawing from her nearly two decades of experience in the media industry, she recounted the challenges she faced when body-shamed for being pregnant and continuing to work on television.

Her response to these trolls transformed the situation into a constructive conversation that aimed to raise awareness about the abuse pregnant women face online.

Janet Mbugua also advised social media users to utilize the ‘block’ feature for their peace of mind.

As an activist herself, she has experienced abuse and trolling but believes in assessing whether a comment is worth reporting or best ignored.