In the News

Parents warned over sinister ‘Letter X’ bullying game sweeping Snapchat

Rachaele Hambleton, author of Part-Time Working Mummy, is raising awareness of the newest method of cyber-bullying

There's a new craze doing the internet rounds.

But unfortunately, it's not harmless like the "No make-up selfie" was, it's not charitable like the ALS "Ice Bucket challenge" - and it's not a bit of fun like the mannquin challenge.

The newest craze involves someone targeting one person that they and all their friends know. The participants then take it in turns to think of the nastiest things they can about that person.

The horrendous new way to bully your friends... (Credit: Getty Images)

The "game", although it feels completely wrong to call it that, which seems to be happening exclusively on Snapchat, is started by sending the letter X in a message. They're all then forced to come up with as many horrible and malicious comments about that person's weight, appearance or personality.

It's then posted anonymously for all the world to see on a Snapchat Story - including the victim.

This comes after the deaths of Megan Evans and Nyah James, both just 14-years-old, who both committed suicide after being mercilessly bullied through the messaging platform.

Both families of the girls said that they did not notice anything unusual about their behaviour, that they seemed totally normal and they had absolutely no idea it was happening.

But one mother is refusing to let it slip under the radar.

READ MORE: Parents warned over shocking and dangerous new internet craze

Rachaele Hambleton has taken a stand (Credit: Facebook/ Part-Time Working Mummy)

Mum-of-five Rachaele Hambleton has taken to Facebook to warn other parents about the dangerous X messages after her daughter was targeted.

Rachaele, who runs the popular Facebook blog Part-Time Working Mummy, shared a post commending her brave 12-year-old daughter for not joining in with the bullying.

Addressing it to her daughter, Betsy, she wrote: "This morning you came into the kitchen and showed me something that had left you upset and confused and I've not been able to stop thinking about it all day.

"People you know, including your friends have begun a new online 'game'. It consists of sending someone the letter 'X'. That person then sends you back a name of someone you all know...you then write the most horrific things you can think of about that person - about their weight, their appearance, their personality...the more horrid the comments the better. It then gets posted anonymously, but publicly, upon snapchat stories for everyone to see & share.

"You couldn't understand why people you know & like were doing this and repeatedly showed me various names and comments whilst in shock at what was being written about them."

READ MORE: Four-year-old boy bullied for his World Book Day costume receives hundreds of messages of support

Rachaele posted the open letter alongside this photo of her 12-year-old daughter Betsy (Credit: Facebook/ Part-Time Working Mummy)

Rachaele went on to describe an instance where Betsy had bullied another child, without realising the effect it would have upon the child. She also cited her own experience of childhood bullying, and said: "I cannot bare the thought of any child of mine ever causing another child to have those feelings so on the day that I received that call from that mum I made sure you knew how it felt.

"I know that you were left devastated at what your actions did. You had no idea that by you trying to act big in front of others you could have hurt someone's heart like you did but I also needed to ensure it never happened again.

"Too many children have committed suicide over the world due to bullying. Too many children have chosen to put ropes round their necks or swallowed too many pills because they feel the only way out is to kill themselves than continue to cope with the sheer devastation that bullying brings into their worlds."

Rachaele with her family (Credit: Facebook/ Part-Time Working Mummy)

The blogger, 34, then went on to praise her daughter for refusing to get involved with the cruel scheme.

She wrote: "So today, you wrote your own story on Snapchat - telling everyone how disgusting this new game that they are playing is, you said how cruel and mean people are being and how you want no part in it.

"Several girls messaged you saying they agree, and that was a brave thing to do. And it was a brave thing to do Betsy, because you are one person, and you've stood up to hundreds of teenagers, you've not followed suit or joined in with the crowds.

"You have no idea whether the backlash of what you've written may now turn into everyone choosing your name to throw around to abuse...

"I'm left astounded that you've found your fight early enough to make a difference to people's lives right now, and I will do nothing but encourage it baby."

Rachaele and Betsy are super close (Credit: Facebook/ Part-Time Working Mummy)

We hope that we can help to spread the message of this terrible bullying tactic.

Has your child ever been the victim of bullying? How did you deal with it? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more like this:

Mum writes hilarious Facebook post about her pre-teen daughter going back to school

Mum advertises son on Facebook as 'free labour' to stop him staying at home

Mum of autistic boy sets up blog to spread awareness

Closer magazine cover