MXit bullies threaten school children

2010-10-17 23:02
Secunda - The gruesome chain letters spread on MXit among young children are probably the handiwork of cyber bullies.

This is the opinion of Dr Elsie Calitz, a psychologist from Centurion.

She says cyber bullying is a common phenomenon, but parents often only hear about such incidents once their own child has already been a victim.

In the latest incident, a number of primary school pupils from Secunda had sleepless nights last week, after receiving a chain letter about a dead teddy bear with "eyes of blood". The receiver of the message is threatened with death, should they fail to pass on the message to others.

The teddy bear message is actually a variation on another threatening chain letter, in which a certain "Jane" says she is 7 years old, has red eyes and no nose or ears, because she is actually dead.

If the receiver was to break the chain, reads the message, Jane (who later also introduces herself as Bloody Mary) will murder the receiver at midnight.

A primary school principal from Secunda, Neels van Niekerk, said on Sunday the teddy bear chain letter spread like a wildfire, and he would speak to his pupils about the matter this week.

Handiwork of bullies

According to Calitz, such messages are usually the handiwork of bullies - girl bullies in particular.

"They really are out there, and they really are mean. Girls like this enjoy targeting sensitive or naive girls in cyberspace.

"It also much easier to get away with the bullying (on MXit)."

A study Calitz conducted a few years ago indicated that such bullying techniques are used by girls in particular.

"Most of them are about 14 or 15 years old and have been learning to be mean since nursery school. The other children also usually know who these girls are."

Calitz encouraged parents to speak to their children about these letters.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mxit  |  mbombela  |  social networking
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

6 reasons Boks won’t botch it
Fiji far too strong for Uruguay
Burger hopes for elusive World Cup win
As it happened: Fiji 47-15 Uruguay
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.