Wired bullies target Oldham County teens - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Wired bullies target Oldham County teens

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Prof. Karen Freberg Prof. Karen Freberg
Tracy Estepp Tracy Estepp

OLDHAM COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - They shouldn't have to deal with it at all, but summer vacation should provide teenagers a break from bullying and hateful remarks. Instead, an Oldham County parent tipped us off about a disturbing trend on Instagram.

Another wired bully is out there targeting children and teens.  Recently, the app caught on and blocked the user name.

A profile titled OCBurnBook posted photos of teens in Oldham County encouraging hateful comments.

Ripped off the fictional notebook in the 2004 Lindsay Lohan film Mean Girls, a person using the OCBurnBook encouraged other Instagram users to contribute negative and/or offensive comments. Instagram blocked the user, but the hashtag (#OCBurnBook) still exists.

"If someone hashtagged #OCBurnBook in a photo, you'll be able to search and see what other pictures were tagged even if a profile has strict privacy settings," said UofL Professor Karen Freberg, a social media expert.

It's another case of cyber bullying parents like Tracy Estepp worry about every day.

"I follow my daughter on Facebook and Twitter, I kind of stalk her a little bit because that's what mother's do," Estepp jokingly said.

In all seriousness, Estepp could do more than friend, follow or search hashtags.  Freberg recommends using Followgram.

"For a parent, if they want to see how much traffic their kid's profiles are getting, Followgram gives them an idea who's looking at it.  It's preemptive," Freberg said.' 

Whoever created the profile in Oldham County got a little backlash as anti-OCBurnBook user names counteracted with positive remarks and compliments about classmates.

Connect Safely is another resource to enhance privacy settings and prevent negative posts.

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