The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (2024)

Having launched their YouTube channel around five years ago, Sarah and Chris Ingham are no strangers to the abuse that seems to go hand-in-hand with having an online presence.

The husband and wife duo - and their now five children - became internet sensations after they started vlogging about their life in the North of England. The family became so popular that when they visited the Arndale in Manchester for a meet and greet a few years ago, over 4,000 fans turned up to catch a glimpse of them.

But inevitably, not everyone has been a fan of the family's candid posts and videos, which regularly feature their children, Isabelle, 17, Esme, 13, Isla, 10, Jace, 3 and Mila, 18 months.

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The abuse started on an online forum with gossip and "pathetic" comments about Sarah's weight, and their choice to film their children.

Sarah and Chris vowed never to go back on that website, as they found it damaging for their mental health. But more recently, their fans and friends have alerted them to another forum, and the abuse isn't just aimed at them anymore, but at their children too.

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (1)

A previous M.E.N investigation exposed how users on the internet forum, Tattle Life, which was created with the intention to hold social media influencers to account, were using fake profiles to troll celebrities.

The site includes thousands of threads about well-known social media stars such as Molly Mae Hague and Sophie Hinchliffe (Mrs Hinch), as well as 'traditional celebs' such as Stacey Solomon, Katie Price and Meghan Markle.

Members of the site, which boasts a rule about 'no moderation,' are able to post streams of comments poking fun or making nasty comments about their lives.

Dozens of threads about the Ingham family have been created on Tattle Life, including ones called 'Sarah the chubby chopper,' 'oh come ye faithful, creepy and unstable' and 'Sarah and Chri-eepy Ingham, YouTube's biggest scroungers.'

In a more sinister twist, multiple posts seen by the M.E.N now include references to the family's children, including derogatory comments about their appearance and behaviour, memes at the expense of the kids, and nasty comments about the way Sarah and Chris parent their children.

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (2)

"We don't go on any gossip sites, especially Tattle Life but we have been made aware that people post about us by some of our followers and friends," Sarah said.

"They ask if I've seen what they've said about Jace and Esme. It's one thing for them to talk about me but when they talk about my children in such a negative way, I can't even have people telling me what they say."

Sarah claims the online abuse has become so bad, trolls have reported her and her husband to social services - multiple times. She claims one troll reported that her three-year-old son Jace had been abusing her other child.

"Fortunately social services are aware of it all and can see that they are menacing calls but it's still frustrating as they have to let us know each time a report is made.

"My husband doesn't even feel like he can kiss the children goodnight because he is branded as inappropriate. It's disgusting the things they say. I am constantly told by friends and fans to stop justifying myself but I feel like I have to."

In other threats on the Tattle site, users have also attacked the children of other social media personalities. One thread, which was created before the birth of Molly Mae Hague and Tommy Fury's baby was announced, included several derogatory comments about the unborn child's appearance.

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (3)

The thread, titled 'Childbirth is a waiting game, will Halo be the baby's name' has received thousands of comments since it was published at the start of the week.

One former Tattle Life member, who frequently used to post about the Ingham family, says he has stopped using the site altogether after the conversation became too toxic, and frequently mentioned the couple's children.

In the rules section of the website, one policy clearly states: "Unsavoury comments about children are not allowed. Their parents may broadcast their children's image to make money, but as they are too young to have consented in this unregulated industry we don't allow comments that may upset the children when older."

Despite this, the former user, who has asked to remain anonymous, said he has reported posts which mention the Ingham family's children, but that none have been deleted.

He told the M.E.N he started posting on the gossip site shortly after it was created four years ago, and found the forum "addictive." But he stopped posting after seeing comments about the kids - something he said was a 'step too far.'

"I pretty much stuck to one thread about the Ingham Family when I started posting," he said. "I used to post about them but I don't think what I said was particularly nasty.

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (4)

"I really like reading more than posting but in total I probably commented about 400 times. When I first started posing on Tattle it was really just to make fun of the parents."

The former member said he wanted to 'raise awareness' of child exploitation, and felt that Sarah and Chris were using their children to make money - something the couple vehemently deny.

"But over time I started noticing what Tattle users were doing. They just started posting more and more about the kids and not in a nice way. There is definitely an element of hatred towards the children.

"I have seen comments where they say they hate the children. There is a difference between hating the children and understanding that the children are a product of what their parents do.

"That was a step too far for me. Once you get into that territory, that is where I draw the line. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the parents because of the way they put their kids out there but I do think there is a danger their kids will see these comments."

The user said he had reported a number of posts, which he feels breached the rules of the platform, but claims his emails have been ignored and the posts in question are still visible on the site.

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (5)

"They say they have moderators but they tend to remove the wrong posts," he said. "I have noticed the other day someone posted 'can we leave the kids out of it' and they ended up removing that post rather than the one about the kids.

"If they keep the posts up that are against policy, especially the ones with kids, then I do think it should be shut down. I have called out Tattle for it but that just seems to upset people.

"I don't post on Tattle anymore but I do read it sometimes to see what's happening. I would say it's addictive and I used to spend around two hours on it every day. I enjoyed it. It's hard to explain but some things are quite funny and there's a sense of community."

Sarah and Chris say accusations that they exploit their children are false, and that their children 'always have the right to say no' to appearing in their vlogs and Instagram posts.

"Whatever people see online is what our children are happy with," Sarah said. "Our channel has been the same since day one and we don't change to keep up with all the latest trends.

"It's not our children's jobs to create content. A lot of people have been saying 'where are your older daughters?' and they are not on it as much anymore because they don't want to be and that's fine. They have total control."

The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (6)

Sarah says the abuse directed towards her family has become so bad that online trolls now even message her eldest daughter to tell her 'what bad parents' she has.

"We won't stop posting though," she said. "This is our job and it's how we make a living and we aren't going to let these nasty trolls stop us from doing that. But it does have an impact on your mental health.

"We had to move from our home in Leeds to North Lincolnshire because people found out where we lived and would drive past our house and try and take pictures of us."

The anonymity aspect of forums like Tattle allows users to make derogatory and abusive remarks that they would never say to a person in real life, experts have warned.

To register for an account on Tattle Life, all a person needs to do is provide a username, password, email and date of birth, before agreeing to the long list of terms and conditions.

The M.E.N previously found streams of messages about children which clearly violated the site's rules, but were not taken down including one thread discussing an influencer's pregnancy, which included hate-filled comments such as: "She's a d****** and her baby will be one too."

Another thread discussing a young child of an influencer dubbed them a "complete brat", referencing them by name. A pregnant woman also had her belly described as looking like "blubber", saying "there she blows".

A DCMS spokesperson said: "Our world-leading Online Safety Bill will clamp down on anonymous trolls and force tech companies to remove illegal content, including posts that encourage self-harm, suicide, harassment or cyberstalking.

"The largest platforms will be legally obliged to uphold their terms and conditions, meaning if they don't allow anonymous abuse on their platforms they will need to take action to stop it or face huge fines."

The Manchester Evening News has approached Tattle Life for comment.

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The Ingham Family: 'Trolls are targeting our kids and even call social services' (2024)
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