|kid-josh. (Jan. 29, 2012). Cyberbullying, would you do it [photo]. http://www.flickr.com/photos/48112820@N05/6784102187/|
Apparently, there is a glitch in the Apple system that prevents users from leaving group chat situations. In fact, your daughter might not have even joined the group voluntarily. Anyone can just include her username in the chat, and she's in, whether she likes it or not.
Oftentimes, when a group member tries to ask other members to help delete the group, he or she is ridiculed by the other members. My daughter experienced this when members of her group began arguing and she asked them to stop and text elsewhere. Group members turned on her and said they were going to get revenge for her comment.
I encourage all parents who have experienced this situation to urge Apple to allow iPod Touch users to leave group chats with its next update. Contact them at http://www.apple.com/feedback.
Until enough parents complain and Apple decides to update the iOS system, the only way to get rid of a group chat is if everyone in the group deletes the messages. So what can you do if a group chat member refuses to stop hitting, "Reply"? Here are your options:
- Ask the group members to delete the group: A strongly worded message from "Sally's Mom" asking all group members to delete all group chat messages and stop hitting, "Reply" will sometimes motivate the group to let the chat die.
- Talk to parents: If group members refuse to stop the abusive texts, a phone call to a parent or two should do the trick.
- Turn off iMessages: Go to Settings--Messages, and turn off the iMessage app.
- Don't allow your child to create an iMessage account in the first place: Go to Settings--Restrictions--Accounts, and click "Don't Allow Changes."
The iPhone does have an option under Messaging that allows users to select "No" to Group Messaging. Unfortunately, the iPod Touch has no such option, which is the device most tweens are using before age 12 or so.
Until this glitch is resolved, please be sure to monitor your daughter's text messages closely. A friendly group chat can quickly get nasty if one group member gets offended. And if anyone finds a way to delete a member from group chat on the iPod Touch, please let me know.