Facebook hated Heidi Klum's dress.

No sooner had she hit the red carpet at the 88th Academy Awards this week, than Facebook feeds around the globe started to bubble over with scorn.

Does the internet now really have so much power?

Sure, the lavender chiffon gown was an unusual choice for the supermodel. Half Fairy Godmother and half nana's Easter curtains-its strange bodice leaving one breast suspended, as though in disbelief at how can a body be made to wear such a monstrosity.


But I loved Heidi for making us realise that even supermodels have their off days. I am sure celebrities recover -faster than you can say Versace-from making the worst dressed list. Some may even thrive on the publicity.

In real life though, I wouldn't dream of criticising someone's outfit, and certainly never take to Facebook to air my views.

"In real life", what does that even mean these days?

For some people, Facebook is their real life but unfortunately because they are acting behind a screen, they do not think through the repercussions of what they post. It is something that I am aware of as a mother, that I must teach my children growing up to be much more resilient to criticism than previous generations had to be. It is a serious situation that online criticism often descends into pure venom and hatred. It worries me what affect this has on anyone, but certainly young people.

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This was something Prime Minister John Key mentioned this week referring to his own concerns as a father. He told officials working on a youth mental health programme he is particularly worried about cyberbullying - saying for many young people "it is really awful out there" on social media. He said he did worry about the level of spite directed at his son Max,

"I do worry about this online, cyberbullying, not just for Max but for every kid - it is really awful out there actually on Facebook and Snapchat, you know."

Me too John, me too.

Guess what, as soon as his comments hit Facebook, the haters crawled out of their holes attacking Max Key even more, many attacking his 'privilege'. Jealous much?

Celebrities, politicians - and journalists for that matter - expect a fair level of vitriol being in the public eye. But when this extends to their children it is appalling, and cowardly. Has Facebook really sunk us this low? That people are deriving some morbid pleasure from making horrific comments about young people they do not even know. Why? To feel better about one's own life?

I am a somewhat reluctant Facebooker, having joined for work reasons to manage a professional page. On my personal page I post rarely, and rarely look at Facebook for non-work reasons. I am too busy doing the washing.

While it can be good to share information, parts of Facebook irritate me - the whole friends and 'liking' posts can be perfectly innocent, but could for young people be a way that Mean Girlsis acted out online.

Unfriending people is a modern version of girls in cliques in playgrounds where you are either in or out.

But much more sinister.

You can understand why young people might go through turmoil online not just through overt types of cyberbullying such as comments, but a more subtle covert form of power and exclusion. There are even online forums dedicated to how to deal with being unfriended or 'restricted'-where people are left out of what is being shared-, with one disgruntled poster summing up the hypocrisy of it all "Facebook, you two-faced bitch".

In other words, a person online is subtely telling you they can't stand your guts but in school they may smile sweetly at you.

With friends like these, who needs Facebook?

I like to think of Heidi Klum's outfit as a kind of two fingers up to Facebook. So Facebook didn't like her dress. So what Facebook, she is Heidi Klum and you are not.

I asked my 12-year-old daughter what she thought of people online mocking Heidi's dress,

"Mean, but who cares? Haters gonna hate."

I know she was quoting Taylor, but I told her that was a good attitude to keep when she joined Facebook.

"Facebook" she replied in scorn with an eyeroll.

"It's just for old people mum. It's not real life you know."