Parents are being urged to exercise caution in the face of a worrying new craze.
The sick ‘Letter X’ Snapchat phenomenon is sweeping the UK, reports Mirror Online.
The craze encourages children to post “the most vile abuse imaginable”.
Concerned mums have come forward on social media such as Facebook to warn about the trend sweeping classrooms across the country.
The craze highlights the threats social media can pose for vulnerable and impressionable children and the age-old problem of schoolyard bullying.
What is the game?
The cruel new game begins when one child picks a victim.
Others then pile in with cruel insults about their weight, appearance and personality.
The communication is transmitted using the Snapchat application.
Schoolchildren then compete to come up with the worst possible insults about the victim.
What are children saying about it?
Mum Kelli Ponsford shared on Facebook a message from her daughter this afternoon alterting others to the game.
Her daughter had told her in a message: “Basically on Snapchat this photo saying ‘send me X and I’ll give you a name and you can slag them off’ is going around.
“And I think it’s absolutely vile.
“The things that people have said.
“And like my name’s been put on and its me feel like utter poo.
“But I’ve told the majority not to put my name because it’s vile.
“But I hate it so much.
“I hate how vile people can be.
“Like you don’t know what people are feeling like.
“Hate, hate, hate it…”
What can parents do?
Ms Ponsford told her daughter to delete the app.
The Mail’s sister newspaper the Mirror yesterday also revealed how a mum was horrified to learn about the new Snapchat game – but will be forever proud of her daughter’s response.
Rachaele Hambleton, 34, was shocked when daughter Betsy, 12, told her about the new craze.
Rachaele, who has three daughters and two stepsons, wrote about the game in a viral Facebook post to warn other parents about the horrible trend.
But she also revealed how Betsy bravely refused to take part.
Instead of giving in to peer pressure, Betsy used Snapchat to spread a message of love and told the bullies directly how cruel and mean they were being.
The game – played over Snapchat with messages automatically deleting after 10 seconds – starts when someone sends another child the letter X.
That person then replies by picking the name of a victim.
All players must then compete to come up with horrible comments about that victim – and nothing is off limits, including their weight, appearance and personality.