“People say I’m ugly, so tell me, am I?” is a daring question to ask online, but dozens of teenagers, mostly girls, are unhesitatingly putting out the question on YouTube. Some of these teens are even younger than the required age to use YouTube, according to site’s terms of service – a user must be older than 13 to upload a video. It’s a disturbing trend: some of the videos are garnering thousands, if not millions, of hits.
“I have a pretty basic question,” one girl begins, after revealing that her friends tell her she’s pretty but she’s not sure because she doesn’t have a boyfriend.
There, they face the wrath of YouTube commenters, some of who aren’t very shy or downright cruel about their opinions. “Just the fact that u did this video makes u ugly. But u were ugly already,” a viewer commented on one video.
The fact that some of the teens can be young as 11 years old signifies something is definitely amiss. Does YouTube need to monitor these videos more closely, or is it part of the need for greater parent vigilance when it comes to their children’s online activities? When every action is anonymous, commenters playing on the insecurities of young tweens is exactly the last thing the Internet needs.
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About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
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