(NEW YORK) — In a recent online trend, teen girls have been posting silly photos of themselves that are then altered to include blunt advice to each other, about things like how to dress more appropriately. But some of the photos have then gone viral, and led to what some are calling a new form of teen shaming.
On social media websites like Facebook, pages such as “Hey Girls, Did You Know” contain these types of photos, which have exploded into viral, copycat sensations.
“Girls will take raunchy pictures of themselves and after that, [other] girls will repost pictures and kind of make fun of them,” Alley Guscott, 17, told ABC News.
Experts say the teasing is a new form of cyber bullying — posted publicly and targeted at specific teens who are well aware that they’re being ridiculed.
“Everyone thinks they can do anything they feel like doing online. They can’t,” Parry Aftab, Internet privacy security lawyer, told ABC News. “Free speech has its limits. If you defame somebody and you harass somebody, if you target them — that may be against the law.”
Sexuality educator and author Dr. Logan Levkoff told said that until parents step in, teens will continue to use technology to taunt others anonymously.
“It’s our responsibility to teach young people not to judge anyone else,” he said.
Sarah Mays, 16, said that she feels the taunts reveal something about the culprits.
“To be bashing somebody else, that means that you have your own insecurities that you’re dealing with, so you take them out on other people,” she said.
And while many continue to post these altered taunting images, others are now creating new signs of support by displaying positive written messages online — mostly from teens who believe that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio