A teenager from Salford is raising awareness about the devastating effect cyber bullying can have on young people.
Liam Royle was bullied when he was 14 after his Facebook account was hacked and malicious messages were sent to his friends and family. He's encouraging others not to suffer in silence as part of Anti-Bullying Week.
The mother of a teenager from Lancashire who committed suicide has welcomed the Prime Minister's call to boycott what he calls vile websites. Amy Welch reports.
Ask.fm founders Mark and Ilja Terebin ended their "open letter" with and insistence that most of its users were "happy teenagers" and that bullying "is not unique" to their site.
The vast majority of our users are very happy teenagers, who use Ask.fm to converse with their peers around the world about the things that interest them.
Bullying is an age-old problem that we in no way condone – and while its evolution online is disturbing, it certainly is not unique to our site.
We will continue to work with the appropriate organisations to safeguard against bullying on Ask.fm – and we would welcome the opportunity to align with the rest of industry and society in fighting it on a higher level.
We are proud of the phenomenal popularity of the social network we have created and strive every day to make it better and safer.
The founders of Ask.fm have published an "open letter" in response to sustained criticism following the death of a teenager who was bullied on the website.
We would like to reassure all users and parents of users that we are committed to ensuring that our site is a safe environment.
We do not condone bullying of any kind, or any form of unacceptable use of our site.
We have implemented various measures over the past months to continue to improve our users’ safety, and we have implemented improved reporting policies.
It then outlined a list of existing safety features available to users and insisted that "in almost all cases it is possible for Ask.fm to identify users – through IP technology."
The founders of a website at the centre of the death of a 14-year-old girl from Leicestershire targeted by online trolls have said they are 'committed' to ensuring it is a 'save environment'.
14-year-old Hannah Smith was found hanged in her bedroom in Lutterworth on August 2.
In a statement, Mark and Ilja Terebin from ask.fm have said they want to reassure users.
Due to legal reasons, the pair say they are not able to discuss the circumstances surrounding Hannah's case any further.
In the last half hour, BT, Durex, and DialAFlight have become the latest advertisers to cut their links with ask.fm, after the Prime Minister called for a public boycott of websites that don't do enough about online bullying.
Much of the advertising on the site is run through Google AdSense, a largely automated advertising platform that provides service to most firms advertising on the web.
I understand that Google is looking very carefully at how ask.fm is responding to the pressure on them. Google has strict guidelines about the firms who use their ad platforms, AdSense.
The rules state that sites with Google ads may not include or link to:
- Violent content.
- Content related to racial intolerance or advocacy against any individual, group or organisation.
Several organisations have pulled adverts from ask.fm, following the death of 14-year-old Hannah Smith.
- The Sun
- Laura Ashley
- Save the Children
- Health charity Mind
- EDF Energy
BT has told ITV News they are also pulling their ads from ask.fm.
A statement is expected soon.
The Sun "blacklists" ask.fm and has told their media agency not to buy any more ads from them - it was a "blind purchase" so they did not know they were on the site.
News UK said in a statement: "Our agency booked a broad range of media to promote our fabulous new offering 'Sun plus' and ask.fm was part of the mix.
"On discovering that, we immediately instructed them to pull the adverts and blacklist that outlet".