Cyberbullying 2.0: New Apps Allow Tormentors

Middle and high schoolers are now defending themselves from vicious comments, not knowing who posted them.
5:51 | 06/19/14

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Transcript for Cyberbullying 2.0: New Apps Allow Tormentors
School bullies are now armed with new we pops -- apps. And a vast and often lawless internet. They can inflect enormous emotional page and ruin reputations. We look at the new technology that can give those bullies an edge and what can and can't be done to fight them. You're gross. You are so pathetic, it's so funny. What did I even do? Reporter: Vicious, cruel, and sometimes violent postings. That's what 15-year-old Jamie was forced to read about herself while at school. I will throw a rock at your head when you're cheer leading. Reporter: But she doesn't know how to defend herself because she has no idea who the insults are coming from. They've been posted anonymously. They would tell me to kill myself and cut myself and all that kind of stuff. Reporter: Jamie says because of the abuse, her abuse plummeted because she couldn't focus in school, fearing any of her classmates might be one of her tormentors. Anonymous does make it worse. It could have been my best friend and I have no idea. She could have been planning to do it the next night and I would have no clue. Reporter: Petty high school gossip is nothing new. Check it out, Katie. Reporter: And blockbuster films like "Mean girls." Newest in cyber bullying, thanks to a new crop of apps where anyone can post anything anonymously and mobily, creating a virtual burn book of graffiti and it's happening in schools across the country. The fact that op has diabetes makes me happy. How long do we think before ab kills herself? Reporter: Will haskill says comments like this appeared on an app last month and spread around his high school like a virus. Trying to raise awareness, he wrote about the new bullying tactic. Students who were targeted were blind sided. Many teachers and administrators downloaded it. It really did take over the high school. I tried not to look, but I was fascinated that students were, like I said, capable of making these terrible comments. Reporter: Now that school is on lockdown. Electronically. Responding to complaints, the creators of the app set up geo fencing using coordinates to prevent the app from being used on school grounds, protecting 85% of all middle and high schools, an unprecedented step. We made our app 17 plus, but we as app developers realized how most parents don't know how to block apps on their children's phones. That's part of the reason we took the measure to disable it on school campuses. Reporter: Paula Todd wrote the book "Extreme mean." Sure, it would be a lot easier just to ignore what's going on. But in order to ignore what's going on, on the internet, you can't do your research, you can't watch television or a film and you can't be on social media. We are allowed to be on the internet. Cyber abusers are not allowed to attack us. Reporter: How much does anonymity contribute? It's a great accomplice for somebody whose desire it is to hurt another person, to denigrate, to demean. Reporter: These days it's easier than ever to hide behind technology. So much so that "Jimmy Kimmel live" has made a notorious spoof about it. We call it celebrities read mean tweets. Reporter: Asking celebrities to read allowed nasty things people have tweeted about them. Christina Applegate, you were better when you wore spandex than spanks, you slut. Reporter: But it creates a dangerous impression for teens. The world the internet creates is alarmingly like what the brain of a psychopath looks like. Reporter: So you're saying the internet is making people behave like psychopaths? We could be living in the mindset of a psychopath, and that means not caring about each other, not seeing each other, getting your laugh at the expense of somebody else, or really, really hurting somebody. That's how a psychopath feels. Reporter: Jamie's mom went to police, but there was nothing they could do, because the app is based in Latvia. In an e-mail, they told us users can report offensive contempt and block offensive users from sending questions. They also said they "Proactively scan posts and take down offensive content." Back at staples high school in Connecticut, will haskill says after the app was cut off, another anonymous app immediately popped up in its place. These anonymous authors never have to see the harm that they're causing. They never have to look into the eyes of the person they're writing about or realize that person they targeted didn't come to school the next day. The anonymity creates a distance between the target and the victim. Coming up, real-life magic

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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