A giant scandal broke out this week that involved many students at the high school where I teach. A sophomore decided she was going to “do everyone a favor” and call out all the “sluts and hoes” that live in our area code. She set up an Instagram account as her platform for the public humiliation and began to call for people to provide pictures of the “hoes” and then tell the world about why these girls are sluts.
The site blew up and hundreds of highly inappropriate pictures were posted. Mostly or totally naked pictures of teenagers were plastered all over this page. Thousands of followers jumped on board to see the pictures and comment within a few HOURS. Horrifically slanderous accusations were cast unto hundreds of girls that live in this area. THOUSANDS of comments like “she fucked all the guys from (our town and the next town over) and that she changes boyfriends more than she changes her own underwear. Her dad is a cop in town and when he finds out what she’s done he will be so happy.” (sic)
Complaints were made to Instagram and the site was eventually shut down – but not before massive damage was done. Unfortunately as soon as one of these sites was closed, three more popped up to continue with the verbal assaults and pictures finding more and more eyes. Teenage slang like “Bopps” (girls who give blow jobs) and “Thots” (another word for sluts) and “Ratched” (trashy) following our area code were used to keep the pictures circulating.
Some of my students were rightfully horrified by the entire event. However, I was absolutely heartbroken/disgusted to discover there were SO MANY teens think this is “hysterical” and that “if a girl is going to take pictures like that, she is a slut and that’s her fault for taking those pictures”. (And, boy did they get an earful from me).
One of my students was victimized in this cyber assault. Here’s what she said happened: “The hoes site wrote a post about me that said ‘she sucks everyone’s dick and is a big ass hoe with greasy hair and cheated on her ex and gave 4 guys blow jobs while she had a boyfriend.’ None of this was true. They included a picture (fully clothed taken off her Facebook page) and said a bunch of totally inappropriate untrue crap about me. The accounts got shut down but that seriously made me feel unneeded and that no one cared how I felt.”
The sites continued to pop up all week until finally the police were involved. Charges are being pressed for libel and unlawful distribution of pictures of minors against the creators of the sites – but not until after thousands of people saw the pictures and comments. If you are unaware of sites like Ask.fm, Snap Chat, Kik, Instagram – please educate yourself because you could literally save your child from being cyber assaulted.