Perhaps the worst thing about social media is the fact that it gives anonymous trolls a platform with which to say vile things that they would never dare utter "in real life."
Unfortunately, the effects of those comments are very "real" for the people who are targeted by bullying or harassment.
And this week, Leah Messer was reminded that there's no depth to which the lowliest trolls on Instagram are unwilling to sink
Leah posted a photo in which she's seen posing with her 10-year-old daughter Aliannah Faith, or Ali for short.
Ali suffers from muscular dystrophy and has been bravely battling the illness in the public eye for her entire life.
For the most part, Teen Mom 2 fans have been supportive, and millions have offered kind words during her struggle.
Bottom-feeding degenerates are rare. But sadly, their voices can be the loudest, and some truly vile remarks were posted on the latest photo of Ali.
So bad that Leah felt she had no choice but to address them.
“Some of the comments on a photo of me with Ali are despicable. I’m sickened,” she wrote in a tweet posted on Monday.
“What world are we living and raising our children in?"
"Let’s teach all of our kids that we are each born with unique differences that make us the beautiful individuals we are!!!”
“We are all different and that is BEAUTIFUL!” she concluded.
The comments in question were deleted prior to Leah's tweets.
We don't know the nature of the vile nonsense spewed by these hateful basement-dwellers. And that's a good thing, because we wouldn't want to relay that sort of thing anyway.
The fact of the matter is that Leah has been a public figure for literally her entire adult life.
During that life, she's been on the receiving end of many thousands of revolting comments.
So if she felt the need to address this matter publicly, it's safe to assume it was bad.
Earlier this month, Leah published her debut memoir, and the book contained a number of shocking revelations about her life.
Fans appreciated Leah's willingness to discuss her abortion and her struggles with addiction.
Unfortunately, all that truth has left Leah more vulnerable than ever to attacks from strangers.
And it seems that the 28-year-old pride of West Virginia draws the line at comments directed at her three children.
That seems like an appropriate place to draw it.
Fortunately, most of the followers who commented on the photo offered nothing but praise for both Leah and Ali.
"Such a precious girl. (Opinion formed from watching the show.) All the prayers of health & happiness as she gets older," one fan remarked.
"She’s so beautiful and has such pretty curls!" another wrote.
"Both of you look beautiful!" a third chimed in.
Sadly, both Leah and Ali will likely be forced to keep dealing with trolls, as this is the life she leads, for better or worse.
Hopefully, they'll always receive more than enough praise to counterbalance the negativity. Or better yet:
Maybe her fans (term used loosely here) can at least stick to more constructive criticism of her life choices.
Instead of bullying kids. Just an idea.