Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ask.fm Is the New Way for Teens to Cyberbully Each Other to Death

 

Ask.fm, a worldwide social networking site where you say anything to anyone, has over 60 million users, 13.2 million of whom visit the site daily, making it one of the fastest-growing social networks in the world. But this success has a dark side; Ask.fm has become an epicenter for teenage cyber-bullying and has already been linked to at least six teenage suicides. Those suicides are behind multiple online petitions, each with thousands of signatures, and articles in The Guardian and The Telegraph about how to make the site safer — or even shut it down.

The calls for a safer social network site aren't unique: see, for example, Twitter's problem with rape threats and the company's subsequent announcement of a "Report Abuse" button. But the two social networks are very different.

Ask.fm actually has a lot more in common (read: it's almost the same) with Formspring, a network that allowed people to "ask" (anonymously, if they wanted) anyone on the site anything (Formspring is what Carlos Danger, a.k.a. Anthony Weiner, used to flirt with women not named Huma Abedin). But "asking" can devolve into threats to "drink bleach" or "go get cancer," which The Telegraph reports are the kind of messages that 14-year-old Hannah Smith from Leicestershire got before she was found hanged on Friday.
 
For the rest of the story: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/08/twitter-bullying-over-ask-new-way-people-be-awful/68074/

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