MANILA -- Pia Wurtzbach felt the need to intervene after seeing the Miss Universe Instagram page filled with negative comments from fans.
Wurtzbach, who used to handle the Miss Universe Instagram account as a titleholder from 2015 to 2016, noted that the page has become "quite toxic" because of people who keep on "bullying and spreading hate."
She noticed the comments on Thursday after being tagged by Miss Universe in a screenshot of her Twitter post that read: "To anyone who's going through something, kapit lang. We're here for you!"
"Hi! Aside from posting pictures, positive messages, [and] updates about Cat, why not take time to scroll through the comments also and block the ones that are spreading hate on this page," Wurtzbach suggested.
She went on: "Miss Universe celebrates unity in diversity. Miss Universe uplifts, empowers, and inspires. I think the IG account (and comments that everyone can see) should reflect that also. Not sure if they're aware, but it's become quite toxic here already."
"That's not what MU is about. No more bullying and spreading hate on this page, please."
A quick look at the posts on the Miss Universe Instagram page shows negative comments from critics of reigning titleholder Catriona Gray who, like Wurtzbach, also hails from the Philippines.
Some of them question why Gray has not been traveling much since she was crowned Miss Universe, while others still insist that she is not deserving of the title.
Last July, Gray said on Twitter that she stands firmly against any form of bullying or bashing, both online and offline.
"It is never, ever okay to put someone down for the sake of 'expressing your opinion.' With words come power and we should be using those words to build someone up and not pull them down," she said.
Currently, Gray is in South Africa to judge the Miss South Africa beauty pageant, which is scheduled on August 9.
Prior to this, she reunited with Wurtzbach at the "ASAP" show in San Francisco, California.