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After Suicides, Ask.fm Changes Safety Policy
By: Jessica Cherok
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Like many social media sites, Ask.fm, which is an anonymous Q&A networking site, has had to make changes to their policies in response to tragedy. And after teen suicides, they have made updates to their online safety policy.

Ask.fm users are able to report abuse by specifically labeling it “bullying and harassment.” Ask.fm also made the report button a more prominent feature on the site. The site also added a safety officer position, increased staff, and promised to have its moderators review all reports within 24 hours.

Among the deaths was that of Hannah Smith, a 14-year-old girl who took her own life in response to the bullying she received from users on Ask.fm. The teen apparently hanged herself after other Ask.fm users left posts on her page telling her to die. Since her death, her parents have called for increased control over postings to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Several other teens have decided to end their lives as a result of cyber bullying. While social networking sites struggle to keep up with the terror of Internet trolls, schools and educators struggle to teach children how to handle online altercations. Unfortunately for many, like Hannah, it isn’t coming fast enough.

It would be unfair to say that cyber bullying is limited to teens and young adults. Certainly many adults have experienced some level of bullying online. And while many adults have the maturity level to deal with such situations without turning to suicide, devastating effects still linger.

For more information on how to prevent kids from becoming victims of cyber bullies, check out the Kids Defense Team.


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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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