Ask.fm to hire safety officer

Ask.fm has announced that it will hire a safety officer to oversee the moderation of questions and comments on the social media site. The DCI in Middlesbrough is now giving talks on online bullying.

National

One in three young people 'experience cyber bullying'

Emma-Jane Cross, from campaign group BeatBullying, says one in three young people are cyber bullied.

She said: "High-profile cases of trolling over the last week have deservedly received lots of attention in the media. However, we also cannot forget that thousands of young people, as in the tragic case of Hannah Smith, face a daily barrage of online abuse, death threats and harassment.

Emma-Jane Cross from BeatBullying says one in three young people experience cyber bullying. Credit: Press Assocation

"Although they may not be in the public eye or have celebrity status, it's shocking that one in three young people are cyberbullied, and one in 13 face persistent abuse online.

"We want internet service providers, schools, Government and the police to come together and produce a UK anti-bullying strategy, to prove that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

"We'd also urge any young person worried about cyber-bullying to visit BeatBullying.org for advice and support."

National

Ask.fm says it has the technology to identify bullies

The founders of the website linked to the suicide of teenager Hannah Smith said they could reveal the names of anonymous bullies to the police.

Hannah, 14, died last Friday at her home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, after being abused on the social networking site Ask.fm.

The log in page of Ask.fm.

Mark and Ilja Terebin, bosses of the Latvia-based website, said the site has the technology to identify "almost all users" and that they are committed to supporting the Leicestershire Police investigation.

They said "in extreme circumstances such as those we've experienced this week" they can use technology to identify those behind the taunts and "ensure this information is accessible to the appropriate legal authorities".

Read: Major advertisers quit ask.fm following teen's suicide

Advertisement

National

Most ask.fm users can be tracked, site insists

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.

– ask.fm

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."

National

Ask.fm to create help website for users' parents

Ask.fm founders Ilja and Mark Terebin said they would create a new website for parents of its users to help them understand the site's functions and moderation policy.

We will create a separate website from the social network to act as an informational resource for parents and others.

This website, besides containing our policies on safety, privacy and moderation (amongst others) will also set out Ask.fm's purpose and values, up to date contact information for the company and the continuing work we will be doing to improve our site.

The site will be live in Spring 2014.

– Ilja and Mark Terebin
National

Teens risk being drawn into 'cycle of online self harm'

The founder of the online safety charity CyberSmile Foundation has said that social networking sites can lead youngsters into a "cycle of online self harm".

Scott Freeman, whose own daughter was a victim of cyber bullying, said that young people use websites to "pose questions to harm themselves".

Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live, he said that seeing his own daughter struggling with cyber bullying was "really frightening" and that he believes he "almost lost her".

National

Ask.fm backs down as father says website lacks respect

The father of teenager Hannah Smith has condemned the social networking website Ask.fm for planning to release a report on its safety measures on the day of his daughter's funeral.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the website said tonight that they will delay the report until Monday.

Dave Smith spoke to ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn:

Read: Ask.fm delays announcement until after Hannah's funeral

Advertisement

National

Government 'don't understand extent of cyber-bullying'

The father of Hannah Smith, the teenager who took her own life after allegedly being bullying on social media site ask.fm, said his life has been destroyed by her death.

Speaking ahead of his daughter's funeral tomorrow, David Smith has called for the government to do more to protect young people from cyber-bullying, and is angry at the response from the website. ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports.

Read: Hannah Smith's father calls for law change

National

Ask.fm to appoint safety officer and more moderators

Ask.fm has announced that it will hire a safety officer to oversee the moderation of questions and comments on the social media site.

Part of a statement released by the site's founders, Ilja and Mark Terebin, said:

We will commit to reviewing all reports made using the report button within 24 hours.

To do this, we will hire more staff to act as moderators, including a Safety Officer to take overall responsibility for moderation at Ask.fm.

The report button will be more prominent on the site itself, and "bullying/harassment" will be introduced as a category alongside the existing categories of "spam or scam", "hate speech", "violence" and "pornographic content".

Users who click this button will be directed to third party resources to help them.

National

Ask.fm promises new 'report button' by September

Ask.fm said an updated function for reporting abuse would be live by September 2013 but that new moderation staff would not be in place until January 2014.

• The amend to the report button and additional category will be completed and live on the site by September 2013.

• New members of the moderation team (including the Safety Officer) will be in place by January 2014.

• The button allowing users to opt-out of receiving anonymous questions will be more prominent and accessible by October 2013.

– Ask.fm statement