France Condemns #Anti2010 Cyber-bullying
Education officials in France have spoken out against a new cyber-bullying trend targeting children who were born in 2010.
The BBC reports that the malicious new #anti2010 campaign has been spreading online via Twitter and through the video-sharing app TikTok. Videos that encourage viewers to form an "anti-2010 police" have been watched millions of times.
Euro News reports that the hashtag #anti2010 had more than 40 million views on TikTok before it was removed.
Parents have reportedly become concerned that the campaign has created a vogue for bullying eleven-year-olds at a particularly vulnerable moment in their lives – starting secondary school.
France's education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, condemned the online bullying as "completely stupid and against our values."
Reports have allegedly been made that the cyber-bullying has progressed from digital taunts to physical violence.
"In the courtyard, they point the finger at us, shouting 2010! 2010!" a student born in 2010 told the Le Parisien newspaper, adding that fights had emerged out of the verbal abuse.
Blanquer urged families to report any cases of harassment via an emergency hotline.
"The warm welcome of sixth-grade students – and their successful integration thanks to the goodwill of their peers and adults – is an essential issue in school life at the college," wrote Blanquer in a letter to school principals in which he implored them to be alert to harassment, threats, and insults.
The main federation of school parents in France (FCPE) has asked the government to act urgently to create a new child protection policy for social networks, saying it is "unacceptable that children are victims of an appeal to hate."
While the origins of the #anti2010 trend are shrouded in mist, French newspapers have speculated that the bullying arose from a fashion for players of the video game Fortnite to brand younger players as "Fortkids" and slam them for not adhering to an unwritten code of conduct.
The bullying is believed to have intensified with the release last month of the song “Pop it Mania” by Pink Lily, which contains the lyric "We are the queens of 2010." On YouTube, the video has attracted nearly half a million (428K) dislikes.
Source: Infosecurity Magazine