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YouTube star Nabela Noor: It's been 'harder to be online'

A Central York High School graduate and YouTube celebrity recently appeared on the BBC, saying that she can relate to “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones, who was recently bombarded with ugly, racist comments on Twitter.

Nabela Noor, a Muslim American who's become a YouTube sensation posting beauty and lifestyle videos online, was similarly attacked on Twitter, after she asked a question at a GOP debate in January.

"It’s just been harder to be online," Noor said Thursday morning. "I can relate completely with Leslie."

At the debate, Noor asked the presidential candidates a question by video. She noted increasing numbers of hate crimes against Muslims and asked how the candidates would address the “toxic climate” and promote increased tolerance.

Afterward, she was faced with hateful comments online, including an image of what appeared to be a Quran inside a pig’s mouth and a commenter who said her question was “just another form of jihad.”

Not long after the debut of the new "Ghostbusters" movie, actress Leslie Jones retweeted a number of ugly comments sent her way and challenged Twitter to take action, before she left the site.

Twitter eventually banned a high profile user and writer for the conservative site Breitbart, who was linked to the flood of racist and sexist tweets to Jones, according to USA Today.

Noor appeared on the BBC Wednesday evening to share her experience.

“After my participation with the GOP debate, I faced a lot of attacks, a lot of threats, graphic images sent to me,” Noor said, according to video of the interview. “I can totally relate to Leslie’s experience. … It was really hard, and I had to avoid Twitter for over a week because of the bigotry and hatred and threats."

She suggested Twitter might need to require names for accountability purposes, but said it was a step in the right direction that Twitter banned a user in the Jones' situation.

Noor said Thursday that she remembered specifically that hateful tweets toward her escalated after Breitbart wrote about her, and the articles were shared thousands of times.

"That’s exactly what happened with (Jones,)" Noor said. "I felt for her. I know how negative it can be … how the volume of comments you get is so quick, so fast, so huge. It is really alarming."

Noor said she never expected to use her online platform in this way -- addressing social issues, talking about Islamophobia, the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. But she holds a degree in sociology, so it makes sense to combine that with her unconventional career.

"To kind of walk away from talking about a lip gloss to talk about some really important things that are happening, that’s a huge blessing to me," she said.