Mother of suicide victim suing Snapchat over cyberbullying

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Lawsuit says 16-year-old Carson Bride was a victim of online bullying through two apps Snapchat hosts

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) —  The mother of an Oregon teenager who took his own life after constant cyberbullying has filed a class action lawsuit against Snapchat.

Kristin Bride’s suit claims two apps available through Snapchat–Yolo and LMK– which allow users to send messages anonymously, are inherently dangerous and unsafe and should be held accountable for her son Carson taking his own life in June of last year. According to the suit, the anonymity in the apps allowed users to continuously bully Carson without consequence. Bride said these types of platforms have been known to cause severe and fatal harm to teens and that many others have ended their lives over the same set of circumstances. 

“We found out that, in the last days of Carson’s life, he was desperately reaching out to friends to learn who was harassing him and searching for Yolo hacks to find a way to identify his tormentors,” said Kristin and husband Tom in a statement. “He never did, and, in the end, it was more than a 16-year-old who was seeking real friendship and connection could handle.”

The suit also said the companies involved were either unwilling or unable to enforce promises they made to safeguard children from harassment and bullying.

Snapchat suspended both of the apps Wednesday.

“In light of the serious allegations raised by the lawsuit, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the Snapchat community, we are suspending both YOLO and LMK’s Snap Kit integrations while we investigate these claims,” a company spokesperson said.

Both parents said they have tried to get the identities of Carson’s harassers from Snapchat, Yolo and LMK but have not received a response from any of the companies.

Suicide Prevention Resources

Lines for Life
24/7 confidential anonymous help with highly trained staff and volunteers; provides immediate assistance, compassionate support and resource referrals.

A teen-to-teen crisis and help line. Contact us with anything that may be bothering you; no problem is too big or too small! Teens available to help daily from 4-10pm Pacific Time (off-hour calls answered by Lines for Life).
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