TEENAGERS on the Internet can be monsters, and I know this from reading my school juniors’ pages. It’s like my current guilty pleasure – it satisfies my hunger for drama, as much as it pains me to read those ridiculously awful comments being thrown around.

But hey, nosing around is one of the ways I stay in the know, and that’s important for a young journalist in BRATs like myself. is a social networking site where you can ask anyone who has an account questions anonymously.

Unfortunately, users have started to abuse that anonymity, turning this once harmlessly fun site into a platform for cyberbullying, making it the subject of an article on

I’ve read tons of “you’re ugly”s and “nobody like you”s on these pages. Some even go as far as “I hope you’d drink bleach and die”.

But what boggles my mind is those on the receiving end still acknowledge and reply to the nasty comments. And they probably don’t realise that doing so indirectly invites more of such “questions”.

Perhaps they think walking away constitutes being a coward, but I beg to differ. Back when I was in school, I’d read indirect Facebook statuses with terrible allegations about me. Sure, I was affected by it, but I soon realised that fighting fire with fire never solves anything.

Evidently, my juniors don’t think so. I approached a 16-year-old students a few months ago for a story on, and she admitted that it really damages her self-esteem. I then reminded her that she could always terminate the account or, at the very least, ignore those questions. She replied: “I actually filter the questions. I just don’t answer the really bad ones.”

Trust me, I’ve read the “really bad ones”, and I still don’t know how she decides which is “not so bad”.

Then again, I see why these teens feel the urge to “fight back” – they simply have no-one to turn to. Cyberbullying isn’t like physical bullying in school. It’s beyond the school’s jurisdiction, so teachers would probably tell them to talk to their parents or go to the police.

So teens are left to fight this battle on their own. Unfortunately, some surrender to their torment, like 14-year-old British student Hannah Smith who hung herself in her room back in August after being told that she “should just die” over and over again. She had gone to to find out more about eczema.

We can’t allow this to happen to the youth in Malaysia. It’s time we do something about it, and I hope the R.AGE Against Bullying campaign can make a change.

I’m not entirely against or any other site of that nature, but I’m against the viciousness that’s so common now. If you own an account, be sure to use it wisely. Don’t hesitate to take a break from the site if you feel bullied – even if the attention flatters you, and you still think the site is “fun”.

Tell us what you think!

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