You are probably familiar with Facebook and Twitter, but tweens and teens these days have their own sites that many parents are clueless even exist. Here are five very popular websites and the dangers they pose to young users:
- Ask.fm - This website allows users to ask other users questions, with the option of anonymity. It's this anonymity and unmoderated Q&A forum that has allowed this website to become a source for bullying. Questions like "Why are you such a loser?" "Why is Jenny X so ugly?" are common on the site. This website has been linked to several bullying-related suicides.
- Vine - This mobile app allows users to post short videos. Some teens are using the app to videotape others without their knowledge or using the app to mock or harass other kids.
- Snapchat - Snapchat allows users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings and send them to followers with the promise that they will disappear after a set limited time, up to 10 seconds. However, many users get around this 'self-destructing' feature by taking screen shots of the photos or using apps that have been created to circumvent the short timeframe. This app has been associated with numerous sexting cases among teens that led to harassment.
- KiK – This popular instant messenger service is designed for smartphones and allows users to share messages, pictures and videos. It has been widely associated with sexting.
- Pheed – This website allows users to livestream what they're doing at any given moment. It's yet another social media platform that encourages oversharing of information and allowing strangers to find out way too much about someone.
It is important to learn what your child is seeing and sending out when they use social media. If you are worried about cyberbullying or have any questions, contact our Long Island personal injury law firm. We’re here to answer your questions and discuss any potential case you think you have—there is no cost or obligation.