New Brunswick

Moncton teen raises concerns about anonymous app after cyberbullying

A Moncton teen is raising concerns about Snapchat's new app, YOLO, which allows users to send each other anonymous questions, after she said she was the victim of cyberbullying from classmates.
Kelly-Ann Gallien, 16, said she was the victim of cyberbullying from classmates through YOLO. (CBC)

A young woman in Moncton is warning against the new teen app sensation YOLO after she became a victim of cyber bullying. 

Snapchat's new platform, YOLO, allows friends to send each other questions anonymously. Within a week of its launch, it jumped to the number one app position, but despite its popularity, it's raised the ire of parents with concerns about abuse.

"I cried a lot," said Kelly-Ann Gallien.

The 16-year-old high school student, who has no hair because of an auto-immune condition, said she has been teased at school before, but the messages from classmates hiding behind the online anonymity were more vicious.  

Gallien told her mother, Patricia Lafond St-Onge, about the messages she received. (CBC)

Last week, she was bombarded by messages.

"How did you survive cancer? I didn't know chemo actually worked," read one.

"Are you happy that you have no hair?" said another.

Moncton girl gets bullied anonymously after dowloading new Snapchat app

3 years ago
1:03
Kelly-Ann, who has an auto-immune condition, got bullied by classmates after she downloaded Snapchat's new "YOLO" app, which allows friends to send you anonymous messages. 1:03

Disappointed by response

After seeing the messages, mother Patricia Lafond St-Onge called the RCMP.

"I found that pretty heavy," said Lafond St-Onge.

She said police told her they had no one that looks into cyberbullying.

When she called a second time, she said she was told there was no point opening a file, because no judge would ever issue a warrant to find out who's behind the messages.

Patricia Lafond St-Onge was disappointed with the response from the police and school. (CBC)

The Francophone South School District said it has a zero tolerance policy against bullying and will be following up with the student to offer help.

But St-Onge said that's not enough and more should be done to educate parents and students.

"They announce everywhere 'zero tolerance,' but when something happens, they're not able to do anything. There's no sanction for anyone," said St-Onge.

Kelly-Ann Gallien has been figure skating since the age of four, training 20 hours a week. (CBC)

Gallien said she has since deleted the app and is putting all her focus in her figure skating.

"It's not something that I can control," she said. "So if you're not happy, look somewhere else."

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