Facebook Group Ranks Teens on Looks - NBC New York

Facebook Group Ranks Teens on Looks



    Facebook Group Ranks Teens on Looks
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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: In this photo illustration the Social networking site Facebook is displayed on a laptop screen on March 25, 2009 in London, England. The British government has made proposals which would force Social networking websites such as Facebook to pass on details of users, friends and contacts to help fight terrorism. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    Teens in New Jersey are drawing attention for a group on Facebook called "You Pick" that ranks kids by looks, and where the underage competitors win by submitting sexy photos.

    "They compare on who looks better, the better abs, the better body," 15-year-old Hass Garcia said.

    He submitted a photo of himself lifting his t-shirt, proudly revealing a set of defined abdominal muscles.

    Hass' mother, Georgina Garcia, had no idea her son was a part of it.

    "This is something that could get all over the world, and it's dangerous ... as of today he knows he's not allowed to do this anymore," she said.

    The "You Pick" group has been taken down since NBC New York began looking into the story.

    Many of the photos being judged were of teens in bikinis, deliberately trying to strike provocative poses.

    While none of the photos appeared to display blatant nudity, they were highly sexualized. And they were photos that parents feared could end up in the hands of a college admissions office, a future employer or even a predatory adult.

    A parent who asked to remain anonymous told us she was very upset to find her daughter's picture on the site.

    Many of the kids voluntarily submitted their photos. Katrina Arce, 14, says she did not. She says she was forced into a "battle" without her permission.

    "I was tagged in a photo one time," she said. "I didn't want to be tagged and people were commenting and saying mean stuff and I got offended and asked to be removed."

    But she said the creators of the Facebook group refused let her out and take the picture down.

    "They said that it was their competition ... I told them that I didn't want to be involved and I wanted to be out of it ... and they didn't do it."

    The creator of the site appeared to be a 15-year-old boy who is a student at Kearny High School in New Jersey.

    NBC New York called the principal and other school officials. They declined to comment on a specific student, but said they were investigating the matter, and because of our report, they were notifying the police.

    The Kearny Police confirmed that they are investigating.