Shaming Each Other Online Is the Latest Teen Trend in Cyber Bullying

Horrifying 16

teenon laptopThere is a new online trend that is taking cyber bullying to a whole new level. You know all those semi-sexy, pouty lip, shot from above Facebook profile pictures that we are all guilty of taking? Well, teen girls take even more of those and post to their profiles and now, other girls are swiping those photos and using them to ridicule one another.

They are using the photos as ways to give blunt advice and backhanded insults. Think of it is a really awful game of caption this. It plays out more like finding out that everyone in the world has featured you on the People of Wal-Mart site as they point and laugh.

Worse still is that the photos are going viral and taking teen shaming to new heights. It is social media at its worse. There are even entire social media sites dedicated to this new online bullying strategy. The kids who are being targeted know they are being targeted. It is all very cruel and full of ill meaning intention.

How can we keep our kids safe from this sort of bullying when teens are taking photos out of context and making fun of them online without permission or reason? Do we need to stop our children from being online entirely? Do all settings need to be private? Do we need to lock our kids in a bubble away from the world just so that they don’t become the target of ridicule and humiliation for doing nothing other than minding their own business and being a kid?

Do you think this sort of cyber bullying oversteps the freedom of speech boundaries?

Image via Picture Youth/Flickr

bullies, social media


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nonmember avatar Cass

Nope. Pictures that your kid posts in the public domain are public. Even as someone who has experienced significant cyberbullying, I say that if you can't handle it, stay off the Internet- or at least don't upload any pictures of yourself. I know I had a fb for close to 6 months before I ever uploaded a pic of me.

gem09... gem092011

Um, no. It doesn't come anywhere near overstepping freedom of speech boundaries. People are free to be jerks. That's one of the unfortunate but necessary consequences of living in our amazing free society.

Instead of shredding the Constitution, how about the parents of these bullies step up to the plate and teach their children not to be self-involved a$$hats.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

It's not just teens, grown women do it here, too!

nonmember avatar Katherine

Did you actually look through that Facebook page? As far as I could tell, nobody is being targeted directly, no one's name is being used, and instances of posters using someone else's picture are rare. It seems like most of the posts at issue are pictures of the poster with advice along the lines of "don't dress with your boobs hanging out and don't plaster on the makeup." Sounds like solid advice to me, hardly bullying.

That being said, I don't doubt that some targeting does occur. I just didn't see any on the page you included.

DebaLa DebaLa

"You know all those semi-sexy, pouty lip, shot from above Facebook profile pictures that we are all guilty of taking?"  Are you a grown woman? Between this and the surge in teen pop articles, this is very disturbing.

nonmember avatar HS

This isn't a new trend. It's been happening for as long as teens have had Internet access. And the adults aren't any help. A grown woman on my FB is being targeted like this right now by a grown man. He took her pics off her FB and are posting them to a FB group and saying mean things abt her. So the problem won't be fixed anytime soon because all ages are doing it. A massive moral overhaul of the entire human race has to occur first. Any suggestions on how to accomplish that?

kelli... kelli0585

You do realize that there are groups on Cafemom that pretty much do the same thing, right?

the4m... the4mutts

While I disagree with stealing someones pictures, if you post them publicly, you have to be able to deal with any and all consequences.

I've been called ugly more than once on this site, and I honestly couldn't care less, as I know that when you stoop to making comments like "fat", "ugly", etc, then you've lost the argument. All those insults mean is that someone isn't inelligent enough to make a valid point.

As for the teens being "bullied", I blame their own parents for not being stricter with their inernet access. We have rules for computer usage, that I'm willing to adapt as new social media sites come up.

1. Nobody under 14 is to have a social media account.

2. You only have internet access on the family computer in the living room.

3. I get to have the password, and full access to any email, social, group site you're a member of. If you won't relinqish the password, I will PUT a password on the computer and ban you from use of it.

4. If I ever catch you bullying online, I will cancel your accounts, and ban you from the internet. Ditto sending "sexy"

the4m... the4mutts


I'm not about to be one of those parents that allows my kids to get into trouble online. I'm also not naive enough to think they won't. But I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability, to prevent it.

Oh, and I will respect my kids' privacy, as long as I don't smell something fishy. I'm not going to be getting into my kids' personal lives and not allowing them any privacy. I simply reserve the right to do so if I feel something is up.

Lenor... Lenore411

This is actually a decently funny site.  And the pix that were stolen, where are the parents?  What are kids doing posting unncessary pix online?  Once you post it, it is public.  I think the site is a wake up call of what NOT to do online, as there are consequences.  Kids don't think of long term when they post some things that do...  Adults included.

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