Hobbs Students Using Cyber Bullying Apps To Post Nude Photos

Hobbs Students Using Cyber Bullying Apps To Post Nude Photos

Zora Asberry
NewsWest 9

HOBBS, N.M. - Two popular social media apps "Yik Yak" and "Burnbook" are causing concern amongst parents and school officials in Hobbs, N.M. after nude photos of underage teens were posted.

The app has made it easier for teens to engage in cyber bullying. Although the students can remain anonymous, kids have been posting threats and vulgar language and nude photos using the names of other students causing the Hobbs Police Department to take action.

Mike Stone, Public Information Officer for the Hobbs Police Department, said, "We were contacted by some parents and school officials in reference to some cyber bullying going on in the schools."

A concerned parent, who wished to be anonymous, contacted police because of some of the negative threats her son received on the app Burnbook. She says that all you need to get the app is an email address and once it's downloaded, it's available for all ages, even though the app's Terms & Conditions state that the site is only for ages 17 and older.

"Immediately you start seeing, just nothing but negativity, bullying, child pornography. It's all on this app," the concerned parent, said.

Hobbs Police became involved once they found out that nude pictures of minors were being posted on these sites making it grounds for child pornography. They are now searching for those who posted the photos, and if they are over the age of 18, they could be facing jail time.

"What the kids don't realize is you're posting all of these ugly things but you can have your IP address tracked on your phone," Stone said.

"Posting nude photos of anyone under the age of 18 is considered child pornography under the New Mexico law and it's considered a felony," Stone said.

This concerned parent took matters into her own hands by contacting the creator of Burnbook, Johnathan Lucas, but she says that he denied responsibility for the outcome of the app.

"All I got back was that, us as parents, why are we not monitoring what our kids are downloading?" the parent said.

Officials want students to know that improper use of social media apps could have serious consequences and that students should be more mindful of what they post.

"Once a photo is taken, you know using a cell phone or an electronic device, once it's out there on the Internet, it's out there forever," Stone said.