Our office recently became aware of a website—Ask.fm—that has become very popular with young kids, but has also been the source of a lot of recent cyberbullying and cited as a factor in several suicides in the past few months.
Ask.fm was created in June of 2010 and allows users ask questions and receive anonymous answers and comments from other users. Unfortunately, because users can post anonymously and the site is not monitored, this site has become a platform for people to harass and humiliate others with no easy way of being traced.
This past week, Jessica Laney, a 16-year-old Florida student, hanged herself and officials are looking into her Ask.fm account, which was found to be filled with hateful messages, such as:
“You have pretty eyes, but you are fat”
“Nobody even cares about you.”
“I don’t like you.”
“Can you just kill yourself already?”
An online petition to dismantle the Ask.fm site in Jessica’s memory already has more than 4,200 signers, and is steadily rising.
Does Your Son or Daughter Have an Ask.fm Account?
It is important monitor what your child is seeing online and to block dangerous sites like Ask.fm from your home computer. Talk to your child about Internet safety and cyberbullying, and let them know they have your unconditional support and trust if they choose to confide in you.
Is Your Son or Daughter a Victim of Cyberbullying?
If your child has been harmed, whether physically and/or emotionally, by cyberbullying, it is important to seek legal help to understand and protect your child’s rights. Contact us with any questions or concerns you have. If you think you have may have a legal case, we can meet with you for a free consultation and fully explore your legal rights and options. It is important to know that your child has rights and there are important steps you can take to help end bullying.