Girls Are Ganging up on Peers Through This New Cyberbullying Trend

July 26th 2016

Laura Donovan

It's no secret that teenagers bully each other sometimes. What's surprising are some of the new ways they've devised to do so.

Youth aggression has found a new social media outlet that perpetuates cyberbullying, a social media safety organization reported.

Teenage girls in the U.K. are engaging in something called "roasting" on various social platforms, with the aim of criticizing a peer until that person "completely cracks," Charlotte Robertson of the online safety group Digital Awareness U.K. told The Daily Telegraph. Girls make fun of boys, and boys go after girls as well, the Telegraph reported.

The bullies start forums or websites dedicated to roasting particular people. The victims may have no access to the roasts or get full access so they can see the criticism firsthand, Newsweek reported.


“Someone would just lay into someone else and completely humiliate them, but do it in a way that's portrayed as humorous — a level up from banter,” Robertson told the Telegraph. Girls pile on the roasts because "they are trying to show bravado and competitiveness,” she added.

Roasting has become more common online, but it is usually in good fun.

ATTN: previously reported that many people actually ask to be roasted on Reddit's popular Roast Me thread, which currently has 235,205 readers. Users take photos of themselves alongside a sheet of paper with the words "roast me," and others criticize that individual as a group.

But roasts can run the "risk of 'going too far,' ... poking fun at something about a person they are not able to laugh at," Thomas Ford — who co-authored a 2004 study on the effects of mean-spirited humor — told ATTN:.

"If a person is not able to interpret the roast in a light-hearted, playful mindset, it might hurt rather than amuse," Ford said.

Read the full story about cyberbullying and roasting among teens at The Daily Telegraph.

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