Sasha Pieterse knows that her Pretty Little Liars character Alison was manipulative (when she was alive), but if she could write an episode of the show, she’d want to show her as being a better friend. Sasha told Cambio that we always see the girls following Alison around, but if we saw Ali being nice to them, maybe we’d understand why they stuck by her.
We’ve seen a little bit of Alison’s sweet side like when she gave the girls beaded friendship bracelets, but in an interview with Cambio, Sasha explains that her character is much kinder than that. Alison’s main goal was to help her BFFs and prevent them from lying, which is why she’s so hard on them. This may sound hypocritical (as Sasha admits) since Alison had a secret relationship with Ian, but maybe she thought better of her friends and wanted them to learn from her mistakes.
Alison pushed Spencer to fess up about kissing Ian, Emily to come out about her sexuality and Aria to tell her mom about her dad’s affair. She approached these in mean ways (by teasing her BFFs), but she was actually looking out for them.