The head coach has been subject of sustained abuse from some fans who want him out of his job at St James’ Park – some of whom wished he “would die of COVID”.
Bruce was under sustained attack when Newcastle went on a miserable run of ten defeats in 13 games.
Fas were demanding he was sacked. Bruce is not on social media but has been told of the abuse thrown his way by his family including ex-player son Alex.
He has joined calls for social media companies to police their site better and stop the abuse, after ref Mike Dean was subjected to death threats.
Bruce said: “In conversations I have had with my family in the past few days ie we were talking about Mike Dean, it was brought to my attention that I have had it too. Horrible stuff.
“Which I couldn’t really get my breath. I hope I die of COVID and stuff like this.
“We need to stop it. There are vulnerable people out there. It is absolutely vile. We have to stop it.
“I don’t go on social media. People close to me do. They are sensitive towards their father. Death threats? Yes. Yes. I have had that to deal with.
“When I see the nature of it it is totally and utterly vile. Some of the stuff I have had is obscene and it fuels hatred. Something has to be done. Like or loathe refs, or Mike Dean, no one deserves that.
“Social media I know is a powerful weapon. For me these companies have to police it better. For me, the abuse I have had, death threats, all this stuff.
“When I see a ref wanting to come away from it because he has made a mistake…. People threatening his life. It is obscene and ridiculous. They need to clamp down on it and police it better.”
Asked if he ever thought of quitting the game because of abuse, or if his family, wanted him to get out of the job, Bruce said: “No, they have not said that. They back me in what I want to do. Unfortunately this has crept in. We have to act.
“This could also be happening to young people, a young girl, bullying or whatever.”