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Can Ask.fm Repair the Damage?
By: Jessica Cherok
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Ask.fm may be shutting down for good. After a rocky history, including involvement in several suicides, is the social media site calling it quits?

Many people have condemned it, including the families of people who were victims of cyberbullying and suicide. The company promised to do better, but soon after it even became a recruiting ground for the so-called Islamic State.

In the summer of 2014, Ask.fm was bought by IAC, and there was only a slight hope that the company could recover.

Ask.fm’s CEO, Doug Leeds; however, doesn’t believe the social site’s only choice is to shut down, though it was something they considered. “We did look at shutting it down and thought about it significantly as an option.”

In a Newsbeat interview, Leeds goes on to say, “We came to the conclusion that there’s a good business here as long as you make the service safer.”

Safer is definitely something Ask.fm needs. They’ve been repeatedly criticized for their failure to protect users’ privacy and safety. The new parent company does have practice in these areas. IAC also owns Tinder and Vimeo.

Whether or not they are able to implement enough protections and changes to repair Ask.fm’s severely damaged reputation remains to be seen.

   

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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