Child psychologists have observed an increasing trend in which teens cyberbully themselves, creating anonymous accounts in which they post vicious insults and slurs that seem to be directed to them by strangers.
They characterize it as a form of self-harm, like cutting or burning.
The behavior is written up in a survey of 5,593 12-17-year-olds published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which found the phenomenon in 6% of respondents.
"She set up ghost accounts on Instagram and posted mean comments about herself, saying things like, 'I think you're creepy and gay' and 'Don't sit next to me again,' " Ziegler says.
"She said these things because she feared being mocked by her peers," the psychologist explains. "She thought their teasing wouldn't be so bad if she beat them to the punch."
When Teens Cyberbully Themselves [Juli Fraga/NPR]
(via Naked Capitalism)