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Popular Reddit page draws concern over bullying claims

Photo posted on Reddit's r/RoastMe challenge
Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 19:22:34-05

Some think the #RoastMe trend making the rounds online is humorous, and others said it's hurtful. On the online forum Reddit anyone can ask to be roasted or ripped on by friends and strangers.

"I think it's mostly like harmless fun," Tanner Rusch said.

"I think it's horrible. I just don't know why anybody would want to do that to themselves," Marisa Pyka said.

Clinical therapist Tina Schumacher of Ascension All Saints said they're usually looking for attention.

"A way to get friends, a way to be popular," Schumacher said.

People of all ages are posting, but there's an overwhelming number of teens getting in on the action. Schumacher said many kids will bury their emotions.

"Then you're looking at you now, kind of harboring all that depression and that low self-esteem and leading to possible self-harm, self-mutilation, more self- deprecation, even feeling suicidal," Schumacher said.

This forum also gives anyone a chance to do the roasting.

"They're trying to emulate comedians, and they might want to get their 15 seconds of fame," said Schumacher. "They look at it as it's fun, it's funny, they're asking me to do it."

The insults rack up and usually have to do with the person's appearance.

"Kids just aren't emotionally equipped to handle that," Schumacher said.

"I think the biggest danger is those kids who are very vulnerable to having mental health problems already, the ones that are more vulnerable to become even more depressed or suicidal." — clinical therapist Tina Schumacher

Schumacher said the fun can quickly take a turn.

"It does turn into being bullied," Schumacher said. "I think the biggest danger is those kids who are very vulnerable to having mental health problems already, the ones that are more vulnerable to become even more depressed or suicidal."

Reddit recently changed its rules on #RoastMe. Click here to see how they're trying to regulate the bullying.