An English 14-year-old girl committed suicide on August 9 over abuse from social media site, Ask.fm. Teenager, Hanna Smith was found dead in her home. She hanged herself after she was excessively bullied on the website, Ask.fm. But the abuse did not end there. Hanna Smith's older sister, Jo, told the Daily Mirror that she herself was now a target of the cyber bullying.
More than 14,000 people have signed an online petition demanding government action after Hanna's death. UK Prime Minister David Cameron released a public statement calling for people to "boycott" websites like Ask.fm, who don't deal with cyberbullying on their websites in a responsible way.
The website was created in Latvia in 2010, overtaking its rival, Formspring. Hanna Smith's death wasn't the first suicide to be linked to the website- 4 more teenage suicides were reported in the UK just this year alone. So why hasn't this website been terminated yet? There are several reasons behind this:
1. It's a hub of global activity. Ask.fm even today appeals to millions of teenagers all around the world.
2. The anonymous 'anon' questions. On Ask.fm, it's possible to ask ANYBODY basically ANYTHING, and that too ANONYMOUSLY. How could this not go wrong?
In my opinion, websites like Ask.fm should be completely wiped off the internet. People may argue that users should just stop visiting the website, but it honestly is not that easy.
I think it's near impossible to just tell people to stop doing something, especially when they are as young as 13. Not everyone has enough self-control to just completely stop using something as simple as a website. Perhaps a person may continually check Ask.fm for fear of being indirectly cyberbullied online. Perhaps a person wants to know what people think about him/hear.
It's alright to dislike someone- in fact this is natural, but this does not mean we should become cowards and do it anonymously! Hanna Smith didn't just commit suicide- she WAS killed by the abuse.
When someone receives hate anonymously, it's a 100 times worse, because they don't even know who hates them, making them feel like everyone is against them.
I call for an international ban on this website, that has from the start done nothing but cause conflict and heartache for the world.