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Teenager’s warning over anonymous cyber bullying app

A schoolgirl has warned about a social media app that has led to her being bullied and told to take her own life in sinister and cruel messages.

The phone app Sarahah, which has over 300 million users worldwide and can be used in conjunction with Snapchat. 

It allows people to give others ‘anonymous feedback’ on their social media pictures.

Creators of Sarahah claim it can be used as a ‘self development tool’ to ‘discover areas of improvement’ and was originally intended for people to use in the workplace. It’s popularity soared late last year.

Jazzminn Chester, of Grimsby, has warned about a social media app that has led to her being bullied and told to take her own life in sinister and cruel messages

However, it has been revealed that the app can be far more sinister than the creators intended as it has become a tool used for cyber bullying.

And today, one girl who has been on the receiving end of the online abuse, 14-year-old Jazzminn Chester, of Grimsby, has spoken out about some of the ‘disgusting’ messages that she has been subjected to after innocently making posts online, telling her to ‘cut herself to death’ and ‘just do people a favour and commit.’

Jazzminn says that these kinds of messages are common among users of the app, and that they can often appear within minutes of a post being published on platforms like Snapchat.

Some teenagers have received abuse saying everything from calling them horrible names, to goading them into self harm or suicide. 

The app works by someone creating a Sarahah profile and linking it to their Snapchat posts, so that if someone swipes up on the picture they are able to leave an anonymous comment. 

Jazzminn, a pupil at The Academy Grimsby, has suffered with mental health problems in the past and alerted her mother, Loretta,  to the messages and got the police involved.

These are some of the messages sent to a schoolgirl on anonymous app Sarahah, which allows users to comment on others' social media pictures

These are some of the messages sent to a schoolgirl on anonymous app Sarahah, which allows users to comment on others’ social media pictures

And now she wants to warn others of the dangers. 

Jazzminn said: ‘I really just want to make people aware that this is going on, because it could end up with something very tragic happening.

‘This all started with me when I was feeling a bit down and put a post up on Snapchat and asked people to say something nice to try and pick myself up, and I instantly starting getting comments telling me to cut and kill myself which is just horrible.

HOW DOES SARAHAH WORK?

Designed to let users send and receive honest feedback it is meant to help people discover their strengths and weaknesses.

One users have downloaded the app, they set up an account to start receiving messages.

The messages appear in a feed where they can be favourited, blocked and deleted without the sender knowing.

Users have no way of knowing who sent the message or how to reply to them.

‘The thing is that this is a constant thing that happens on this app, people know that they are anonymous and that gives them some urge to just be horrible to people, because then they can’t be found out.

‘I have been getting an awful lot of abuse and threats, but it is not just me, it is happening to everyone, nearly everyone I know in the town is on Sarahah.

‘In my past I have had problems with self-harm and mental health, and if my mother wasn’t here to support me I don’t know what might have happened as these messages really hurt you.

‘I also know that a lot of people who get messages like this can bury their heads in the sand and not tell anyone, and that is when real problems can arise, and I just want people to be aware, because if it can stop one person doing something tragic it will be worth it.’ 

Jazzminn’s mother said she was shocked when she was told of the type of abuse her daughter was getting, and worried that other children in the community could be facing the same issues.

After she saw them she quickly contacted the police, and now would like to make other parents aware of the dangers.

Lorretta said: ‘When I saw these comments that Jazzminn had been getting I was just shocked, I can’t believe that there is something out there that makes it so easy to send these horrible and threatening messages, without any real repercussions.

‘Jazzminn has been lucky that she has a good support network around her, but others can often bottle this kind of thing up until eventually they reach a breaking point.

‘I just want to make parents aware that are children are using this app, and it is leading to an awful lot of bullying, it is really just scary.’

Humberside Police have confirmed that they are looking into a report they received regarding online bullying. 

 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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