Niall Horan has publicly called out a group of 'fans' who have been sending abusive messages targeting him and members of his family. The 22-year-old singer said he is being woken up in the night by the messages, which say the "worst things ever" about his loved ones, including his two-year-old nephew.
In a series of tweets posted on Tuesday, Niall explained his situation in the hope of highlighting the issue of online abuse.
Niall Horan has publicly called out a group of 'fans' for sending abusive messages
"For the last two weeks, I've been receiving messages off a group of fans, they have drowned my phone in messages, keeping me awake at night," the One Direction star wrote on Twitter. "But the worst part is. They have been nothing but abusive. Saying things you wouldn't even believe about me and my family. And saying the worst things ever about my little nephew."
He continued, "Thank God I'm not the kind of person who thinks into stuff like this but I just think it's crazy how we let people away with things like this.
"And the sad thing is as I tweet this, they are in the group chat laughing at me," Niall shared. "Don't worry about me. I'm the most carefree, laid back person around. But I'm just signalling it, because this is happening to others."
The star said members of his family have also been targeted
Niall's fans were quick to rally around the star, and the hashtag #RespectNiall was soon trending worldwide on Twitter.
Niall is the latest start to speak out about online abuse; Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Jessie J and Tom Daley have all called for more to be done to prevent it happening.
Meanwhile, Niall and his One Direction bandmates, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, are still on hiatus, and the star has reportedly been using his free time to write some solo material.
One Direction are currently on an extended hiatus
Wayne Hector, who wrote 1D songs including Steal My Girl, Best Song Ever and History, recently revealed: "We are writing together but he wants to do it for himself and not other people at the moment. We have no idea where we'll end up."
Niall is also using the break to focus on his love of sports and has set up a golf management company.
"It's well known Niall loves golf and has been learning from the best out on tour with Rory McIlroy," a source told the Mail. "Now he wants to discover exciting new players and give them his backing. It's early days but he's committed."