"They Called Me Ugly"- Cyberbullies Use Apps To Remain Anonymous


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Smart phone applications continue to grow in popularity among teens and young adults, but some new applications are becoming vehicles for anonymous cyber bullying and it's almost impossible to track down the bullies.

Courtney is a K-State freshman who is always checking Facebook on her smartphone, but during her first 3 years in high school, she said her classmates made her a victim.

"They were saying a lot of things like I was ugly. Just different things that were about looks, just a lot of things that were not true, just a lot of hurtful comments. It definitely lowered self esteem and self confidence," she says.

Lowered her confidence so much that she decided to complete the rest of her high school classes at home online instead of in the classroom.

Students are finding new ways to bully each other through social media, using apps like Snapchat to send timed pictures or videos or even apps like Backchat to remain anonymous when sending messages.

Snapchat is a free smartphone application that allows you to send short timed pictures or videos between 0 and 10 seconds. Backchat is a free smartphone application that allows students to message anyone on social media anonymously.

"I think that is one of the issues now is people are friending the victim of being bullied and then using anonymous sites like Backchat and are able to target them without them knowing who it really is," Courtney says.

She says bullies screen shot pictures on Snapchat and blast it over social media. Ask.fm has become another magnet for cyberbullying. Here, students can gossip in a question answer forum about other students anonymously.

Courtney says she hasn't been bullied since she started college, but she will never forget her past.

"I've learned you have to be strong, and I'm not the only victim with bullying," she said.

Courtney says she is hoping to start an organization on K-State campus for both victims of cyber-bullying and bullies themselves. She says she doesn't expect bullying to ever come to an end but she hopes to take a positive step forward.


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