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Social media can be a blessing and a curse.

The downside is social media is filled with hurtful comments and bullying. Sadly, the family of 11-year-old Tysen Benz found out it can also be deadly after losing their child to a prank.

Their lives were forever changed when Tysen's mother, Katrina Goss, came home to find her son had hanged himself because of a trick his girlfriend played on him through social media and texts. The unnamed 13-year-old girl set up a prank to make the boy believe she had committed suicide, according to FOX59. The heartbroken mother said:

“She had pranked her own death. I don’t know what possessed her to do such a weird prank. It’s a twisted, sick joke.”

The girl tricked him into believing she was dead by telling him she was going to kill herself, and using her friends' accounts to spread the news about her death so the young boy would see it.

The 11-year-old boy responded to the messages by saying he was going to kill himself. The mother told CBS News:

“He even said he was going to kill himself and she didn’t make any attempt to call me or someone else to try to stop him. [His death] should never have happened.”

The child's mother found him hanging in his bedroom on March 14. He was kept alive on life support for three weeks before his death. Goss described letting her son go to People:

“We had to let him pass on. He was severely brain-damaged and the doctors told us he would never recuperate, that it wasn’t even really him anymore. I was at his bedside for three weeks. We are utterly devastated and we will never get over it."

The devastated mother wants parents to know what happened to her son and how a social media prank ended up taking his life within 40 minutes so they can be aware of the evil side of social media for their own children. Goss said:

“Social media harassment, bullying and pranking is a huge issue. The way it’s used nowadays, kids are desensitized to social media and it really does hurt people.”

GoFundMe page, “For the love of Tysen Benz,” has been set up to help raise funds for his family. Tysen's mother posted:

"My son Tysen Benz was an 11 year old student, athlete, comedian, friend, brother, charismatic and all around amazing child. On Tuesday March 14th he impulsively chose to end his own life as a result of a horrific act of a social media prank which is under investigation by authorities. He clung on with the help of life support until Tuesday April 4th. He has now been set free and can Rest In Peace. He was loved by everyone he knew and he will absolutely never be forgotten. Our family is completely heartbroken.

I urge families to speak out, reach out and communicate with your children about life's precious gift and the dangers of the internet and texting and how telecommunications can have the same effects as speaking face to face. I want Tysen to be remembered as he was and all the joy he's brought to everyone. Keep his spirit alive by standing strong & fighting against social media bullying!!"

The unidentified girl is now facing criminal charges in his death. She has been charged with malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime.

View Comments(26 comments)
Shanon Mountz(9 likes)1: Darwin was an idiot.2: young kids have feelings just like we adults do, so having a girlfriend at 11 is almost normal in today's standards.3: even if his mom had told him about people being cruel and connivin, HE'S 11!!! He's at that age where "mom and dad are stupid and don't know what they are talking about" is driving his mind. He's just coming into his own, he's hit the pre teen stage and doesn't quite understand what's going on with his own body. Then his girlfriend drops the death bomb on him and, thinking she's dead, his emotions and hormones kick into over drive and he kills him self just to be with her. Though i I will say this... I hope they charge the girl and her accomplices 
Sandy Kingery(8 likes)HOW DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW WHAT THE MOTHER TALKED TO HER SON ABOUT, WERE YOU ALL THERE? IF NOT , THEN HOW IN THE HELL CAN YOU ALL BE SO HELL BENT ON BLAMING THE MOTHER? ISN'T HER PAIN ENOUGH FOR YOU THAT YOU HAVE TO ADD TO IT?And before you ask, YES I have been in her shoes and I had to make the decision to turn off life support for my only child and YES due to a stupid little bitch that craved attention anyway she could get it! I HAD TO LET MY SON GO EVEN THOUGH I WAS DYING INSIDE I HAD TO DO IT FOR HIM BECAUSE I PROMISED HIM ! ?I told my son on the night that she stole her Mom's car and jerked the steering wheel while my son was driving and I had to pick them up because they totalled the car, I told him that if he didn't stop feeling sorry for her she was going to be the death of him and I didn't want him to die! I said that bitch is going cause your death and I know it, she causes you nothing but trouble! Funny thing is that after he died, I found a letter from her in his wallet telling him that she knew he didn't want a relationship with her but she just like being around him!!!!!!She liked being around him so much that 2 months after this incident, she heard my son was looking to buy a gun, you guessed it, she stole her Granfather's gun and brought it to my house to show my son. Now, he took the clip out and laid it on the couch and as he was looking down the barrel to check for bullets, his thumb slipped and he shot himself in the eye and straight through both sides of his brain, he lived 2 days and just like I knew in my heart, she caused my son to die !She was not to be on my property, my son told her to stay away, I told her to and her Mother to stay off my property but because my son had a big heart and felt sorry for her, he DIED not on purpose but because of her, he DIED ?NOW, do you all blame me too for my son's death?Give this Mom a break and God knows that she deserves the benefit of the doubt, after all her son is dead and she doesn't understand herself why ! My son was 19 when he died but he thought the best of everybody and trusted all ?
Kathy Huffman(6 likes) God bless this familyAs a mother myselfWho has lost a child to suicideDue to bullyingNo matter what age they arreyI hope this girl  Gets punished to the fullExtent to the lawThis just makes meSickW