New form of cyber bullying concerns local police departments

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It is on social media sites and some of the images have even gone viral. A new kind of cyber bullying called teen shaming has local police departments concerned.

Teen shaming is when people post pictures of each other with derogatory things written on those pics.

“It’s really sad because she’s my best friend. I like seeing her in school, but it’s better for her now because she’s making new friends and the bullying is stopping.”

High school junior Alyssa Immel said her best friend is the victim of bullying, both at school and online. Alyssa’s mother ,Veronica, said social media sites are a vehicle for cyber bullying at her daughter’s school.

“Before the internet, you were at school, you get bullied and then you go home and that’s the end of it. Now, you have Twitter, Facebook, you have Instagram you have everything so, it continues on after school through these social media sites.”

And now a new form of cyber bullying called teen shaming is hitting social media sites.

“Teen shaming is an offshoot of a trend that’s occurred on a lot of social network sites where it’s people that have taken something that was meant to be fun and humorous and uplifting and they’ve turned it into a negative,” said Detective Sergeant Erick Klinkkowski of the Greenwood Police Department.

Teen girls post silly photos of themselves that are then altered to include blunt advice to each other, about things like how to dress more appropriately. Some of the photos have even gone viral.

Social media websites like the Facebook page “Hey girls, did you know” are littered with these types of photos and most of them are posted anonymously.

“It’s the technology that makes it more sinister in a way because sometimes you don’t know where it’s coming from or who’s starting it or how far it’s going out there in the cyberworld and that’s what’s scary about it,” said Kimble Richardson, a Counselor who treats victims of cyber bullying at the St. Vincent Stress Center.

“Bullying is bullying and if it’s criminal, we’re gonna follow up on it. It’s just a matter of time and persistence and technology isn’t something people should feel comfortable hiding behind,” said Klinkowski.

“Our department is committed to making sure people are safe both walking down the street and online and if these kinds of things are happening, call us, trust us, don’t keep it to yourself. document it print it out,” Klinkowski added.

Many parents like Alyssa’s mother are keeping a close watch on their kids in person and online.

“I’m looking at everything they do all the time. she’s (Alyssa) limited to when she’s allowed to be on there and when she’s not allowed to be on there.”

According to the Cyber Bullying Research Center, about half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly.

The Greenwood Police Department encourages anyone to contact them if they are the victim of bullying. They will investigate or pass on the information to the appropriate law enforcement  agency.

More information is available online.

9 comments

  • Pat Brown

    Again I will say that if the MEDIA would not publish things that teenagers can pick up and people wouldn't make things such a big deal this stuff would stop!!!! Bullying has been around forever and if you know you didn't do or say the things you are accused of and hold your head high it will stop. Children need to quit getting so upset unless physical violence is threatened.

    • KAS

      Although your way of thinking might make sense to you, it's not realistic. In a perfect world, teens would be able to shrug off bullying, but we are far from living in a perfect world. The reality of this is that people are actually taking their own lives because of being bullied, so yes this is a big deal and the media does need to cover it so people can be aware of how to stop bullying. You said that bullying has been around forever, so why do you think that it would stop if people just ignore it? Ignoring it just makes yourself naive to the situation, which doesn't help anyone. I do understand that some kids are very sensitive and get upset over things that might not make other people upset, but it is not anyone's place to tell them what they can be upset about or what they can't. That's part of being a teenager! All we can do is listen to their problems and provide support for them.

    • RWL

      When you catch one of these "bullies" take them and there parents to jail for a month and they will stop. And when people know the they can go to jail most of it will stop.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    Oh brother! Slow news day again.

    The major lesson here is don't just "friend" any old damn person and you will limit access to your FB account to people who would do this ish!

    It's just that simple.

    And please…PLEASE tell me with all the robberies, rapes, murders, and beatings going on (not to mention decreased cops on the streets), we aren't allocating po-po resources to investigating this bullsheet!?

    • RWL

      Wait until its your child and Oh, everything's different. Have a heart jerk. Wait a min. That don't feel good does it, because its YOU. I,m sorry.

  • Veronica immel

    Like I said on the news bullying has been around for a long time but now it doesn't just stay at school when you go home is on the Internet Facebook Twitter instagram yeah you can have whatever friends you want on there but a person just gets on somebody else's page and then write something on there that your friends with. But it doesn't just stop when u leave school like it use to be before Internet the bullying is following these kids everywhere they go no matter where they're at .. And when kids are taking their own lives because of this is a problem. I don't care who you are and if you think it is not a problem you are very naive as KAS said. Usually the ones that are sticking up for the bullying saying it isn't a problem their children are the 1's bullying kids. So it may seem ok to them. Well its not ok. What if it was ur child being bullied everyday fir years till they just couldnt take it no more and then ended their own life because of it I bet it would be a different story then. It's a very sad world we live in especially when the adults want to justify other kids bullying the other kids and saying nothing wrong with it when it ends in tragedy. Or the child who was bullied all his life ends up like the guy who went to the elementary school and shot all them innocent kids and himself. People come one and be aware of whats going on with your kids and who they are hanging with. God bless everyone.

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