Disturbing Trend: Teens Ask Internet To Rate If They Are Pretty Or Ugly

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    Flickr User notsogoodphotography

  • A disturbing new trend has hit Youtube: pre-teen girls asking commenters to rate whether they are “pretty” or “ugly.” Some of the videos have already amassed millions of views, with many more still getting tens or even hundreds of thousands.

    One of the most popular (which we’ve purposefully not linked to) shows an adorable young woman asking the camera, “I just wanted to make a random video, seeing if I was like ugly or not, because a lot of people call me ugly, and I think I am ugly.” The video has has garned 91 thousand comments, and, as expected, they are a mix of compliments and outright nasty remarks. The trouble, of course, is that, since the Internet is a system of voluntary commenting, it falls prey to what statisticians call the “negative response bias,” where users are most likely to take effort to answer a question if they have negative opinion about the subject.

    This puts self-esteem-troubled teens in a situation that will most likely distort their view of themselves at a deeply vulnerable time.

    What do you think can be done to help curb this trend?