A new trend on social media is spreading like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter, and ruining lives and destroying friendships in its wake. It feeds off the anonymity allowed to people on social media, and it can target anyone, at anytime, for any reason.
It's called "THOT", abbreviated for "That Hoe Over There", and it has become the new code name for pages on social media meant to spread rumors and "expose" people's sexual activity; whether it's true or not. It's become increasingly more popular among teenagers in the past few weeks, and has taken over high-traffic social mediums like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.
THOT has been big in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and other major metro areas for awhile now, but recently the trend has struck close to home here in Indianapolis. One Facebook page setup by a user calling his/herself "Molly Thots" was recently shutdown by police in Greenfield, IN, after being described as the "worst case of social media bullying ever".
Thots' page was taking photos off Greenfield High School students' Facebook pages and posting them to their page with damaging messages; such as "THOT has chlamydia". To make matters even more severe, "Molly" was not only posting photos, but including the students' full names in the posts as well. Greenfield police were notified to the situation only after High School authorities reported that numerous students had complained about being victims of cyberbullying.
However, as is the case with social media, unfortunately, as soon as that page shutdown, another one sprang up. Meaning, parents and kids need to understand how important it is to be proactive in preventing yourself from becoming a victim.
Remind your kids to be cautious about who they add as friends on social media, and learn, understand, and use the privacy settings on the different social mediums. A good rule-of-thumb on social media posting, for anyone, is that if you wouldn't feel comfortable sharing a photo or a thought to the public in real life, then it shouldn't be shared on social media either.
This sickening trend does not appear to be dying down any time soon, so it's important for parents to share this information with other parents, and remind their kids that what happens on social media, doesn't always stay on social media, and that anything they post can quickly go viral to the public.