The author of that bizarre ‘HSC Discussion Group‘ hit-piece published last Friday has finally responded to the backlash she received, admitting that to say the article was poorly received “might be the understatement of the century.”

Last week, journalist Rachel Corbett published an article deriding this year’s lot of HSC students as unmitigated whingers, using screenshots from their shit-posting Facebook group ‘HSC Discussion Group 2016‘ as examples.

In response, what looked like all 60,000 members of the Facebook group retaliated with memes, snake-emojis, and publicly tweeting and private messaging their displeasure.

Plenty of students had legitimate complaints about the piece, calling Corbett out for the condescending tone and lack of understanding about what is an extremely stressful experience.

Unfortunately, and at the risk of sounding like my old high school principal here, ~a few bad eggs~ took things way, way too far, sending her death threats and abuse.

“I’m not pig headed enough to think my opinion is always right and if there were people who took issue with what I wrote I would have welcomed an inbox full of their genuine concerns,” she wrote in her response column today.

“Instead I received thousands of messages containing words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ and suggesting I kill myself. I was also informed countless times I’d brought this mass abuse on myself by choosing ‘the wrong group to f**k with’ and that they were making it their mission to ‘destroy me’.”

Let us be very clear here: death threats and abuse are not okay, not in any circumstances, no matter how much someone’s pissed you off. These have real life consequences, and can be (and often are) devastating.

However, Corbett did acquiesce that perhaps the article was poorly written, and apologised for trivialising the stress the students are under.

“If among the abusive emails or mass subscriptions to sites like Pornhub (very clever guys) sitting in my inbox, there are emails from students who believe my article trivialised mental health issues in any way, I truly apologise for that,” she said.

“That definitely wasn’t my intention and I concede my words could have been better chosen to reflect the importance of that issue. I also apologise for not replying to those emails but there’s only so many times you can read you’re a slut before you stop looking at your inbox.”

The moral of this tale: don’t come after stressed-out teenagers, but more importantly, absolutely do not bully strangers on the internet. This is bad.

Photo: HSC Discussion Group.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, you don’t have to put up with it – call the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. To talk to someone about mental health issues, call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636.