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Vulgar Instagram account raises cyber-bullying concerns | News

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Vulgar Instagram account raises cyber-bullying concerns

CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - A vulgar social media page exploiting Cabot students is concerning police and parents about the dangers of cyber-bullying.

The page shows pictures of district students with grotesque hashtags and captions.

As many as 200 photos of 22 students and parents were posted the captions. The account has since been taken down but it's becoming more common as younger kids start exploring social media.

"There's a lot of victims when this happens," said Lonoke County Prosecutor Chuck Graham.

In today's world popularity can be summed up into one word: followers.

"Cute girls or whatever you know, what's your Instagram name? Yeah you know everyone's looking for some followers," said skateboarders Dillon Martella and Brandon McCutchen.

The two used to attend Cabot High School and post skateboarding videos among other things almost daily.

"Every time you meet someone it's like hey hit me up on Instagram. Shout me out you know give me a follow," they added.

But with great digital power, comes great responsibility.

"If you had a Polaroid you had one thing," Prosecutor Graham continued. "Now if it's posted on the Internet it never goes away."

More and more cyber bullying has come to popular social media sites. Posting seemingly clean photos and exploiting the people in them.

"It's devastating to the kid, it's devastating to the family," he elaborated.

Experts and authorities say the digital age can almost be like a double edged sword. Once you get into the inner-workings of the web there are more bread crumbs like IP-addresses and location tags. But on the other hand there are more chances to post anonymously through fake email accounts and message chains.

"It's much easier to be quote anonymous than it's ever been," Graham said.

It's the case in Cabot, where police have subpoenaed Instagram to try and get the email address and personal information of the account owner.

"It's the people making fun of the other people who are the insecure people," McCutchen said.

While Dillon and Brandon don't use theirs for such purposes they're wary knowing today, nearly anyone can be a victim.

"Once it's on the Internet there's no taking it off you know what I mean," he added.

The account was up for about 5 weeks before it was taken down.

The county prosecutor says it's tough to discern what can be construed as a criminal act with this type of bullying.

He says he can't speak about this case but said his office looks at each one individually.