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Success after Mother’s petition to ban app with potential for cyberbullying goes viral.

The mum of a 13-year-old girl who was told to kill herself by online bullies launched a petition in January for apps that facilitate anonymous messaging to be banned.

The Queensland parent, Katrina, launched an online campaign to shut down phone applications, including Sarahah, which she said has ‘shattered’ both her daughter and herself.

She says she’s terrified her daughter will suffer the same fate as Amy Jayne Everett, who tragically ended her life aged 14 following relentless online tormenting. 

Since reading the sickening abuse sent to her daughter through Sarahah, the mother says she’s been ‘scared, broken and sick to her stomach’.

Katrina accuses such apps of ‘breeding suicide’, using a message sent to her daughter as a poignant example.

‘(name) is such a bitch, she makes everyone hurt and I hope she kills herself. Seriously no one would care,’ the hurtful note read.

Sarahah is a social networking service for providing anonymous feedback. In Arabic sarahah means “frankness” or “honesty”.

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‘No one, especially our youth, should have to read messages like this about them,’ Katrina said.

Her petition went viral with nearly 470,000 signatures.

This week BBC news shared that he app has been removed from the Apple and Google stores after accusations that it has been facilitating bullying. But the company’s chief executive denies the claims and says the app isn’t meant to be used by younger teens.

The app was then taken down from both the Apple and Google stores. It appears the companies took action in response to the petition, although a Google spokesperson said “we don’t comment on specific apps” and Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

BIG WIN!  Well done to Katrina. Good on you for standing up for our children.

A concerned father has also shared screenshots of the relentless online bullying his 15-year-old daughter is suffering through.

Russell Simpson shared images of the abuse on Facebook in a post which has since gone viral.

“Righto Lets see if everyone is fair dink-um about this social media bullying,” starts Russell.

“To all the people that think we go on and on about Cyber bulling here is your example to what Katelyn has put up with over the years.”

“It doesn’t worry her anymore but now it has become to the point where OK here I come and look out,” Russell says in the Facebook post.

He confirms the post was reported to Snapchat and the parents are trying to track the “little vermin down”.

These apps should not be allowed to exist. While it would obviously be impossible to ban or prevent such apps, as parents it is OUR JOB to make sure our children aren’t using them and to be aware of what apps they are using regularly. Talk often and openly to your children about using social apps wisely.

We all need to stand up for our kids and #doitfordolly #stopbullyingnow #speakevenifyourvoiceshakes

SIGN the Petition HERE 

dolly mf

*Readers in need of support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

Share your comments below.

  • Any win against bullying is a good win.

    Reply

  • Great this petition had such success !! These apps should not be allowed to exist indeed.But more is needed, you can’t blame this app for the hurtful words. Kids, teens and even adult are speaking these words and parents and schools and our children have to bring a different movement alive.

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  • I don’t think some parents take it seriously enough when they’re the bully.


    • It has to be taken so seriously from both sides.

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  • Sadly its only a matter of time before its replaced with something similar. Parents have a responsibility to ensure their kids aren’t the bullies and keep their kids off the internet if they are the bullied.

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  • I’m so glad that the petition has helped and that Sarahah has been shut down!!!

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  • Such a huge problem nowadays. It seems the more bullying is talked about, the worse of a problem it becomes. I just can’t see a way to stop this form of bullying. So very sad for the kids that are affected

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  • Can Apps. be blocked on mobile phones and tablets?? I know you can put in specific numbers and fix it that no others can be contacted.

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  • So damaging and such a serious problem ! But in the end we can’t blame the App which is used, it’s the people using this app, choosing to speak harmful words. And yes we should stay in contact with our kids, check their media use and do everything to have an open communication with them whether they are bullied or are a bully themselves. Because even those who bully have a heart and it’s probably a heart what is aching, bless !

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  • Disgusting that people write such things. I agree. Those apps look so incredibly dangerous. I’m going to sign the petition.

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  • At the rate technology moves nowadays, if any app were to be banned, another would replace it just as quickly … talking to our children openly about apps and social media, and stressing that this type of behavior is not to be tolerated, is the only way to keep track of what is happening in their lives.

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  • we can see in a lot of adult key board warriors that people are tougher when they can hide behind a fake profile or anonymity, why do we think a child would be any different. We need to start holding people responsible for their actions and start supervising our children’s online activities and start looking at the way we all treat other people, after all ,monkey see monkey do is the old saying

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  • I totally agree. You should not be able to post anonnamously. That would solve a lot of nastiness by people being named to their comments.

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  • im glad that ive had that talk last nite with my son and daughter. I’m just hoping they will listen but again we hope our children do come to us if they aren’t too sure on the language wither its sarcastic or being funny or quite mean.
    I dread this to happen to anyone, sometimes in a way I wish technology didn’t come out.
    So far I’m having to ask my son to block some kids if their language isn’t acceptable.

    children are so cruel these days.

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  • As soon as they take down one app another 10 will replace it. Parents need to know what their kids are doing online and if need be, keep them offline. Surelyit wouldn’t be difficult to set something up within the app that notices certain words or phrases and sends the message to some kind of admin to be approved first? Then things like these messages can just be stopped before they reach a child and fo any harm?

    Reply

  • I agree with this mum, but I also think the best strategy is to talk to your children regularly and let them know these types of messages are abusive and need to be reported as well as disabled/blocked.

    Reply

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