Latvian based social networking site ‘Ask FM’ has been at the centre of controversy after 14 year old schoolgirl Hannah Smith was found hanged in her bedroom last Friday by her 16 year old sister.
In the lead up to her death, Hannah had received several anonymous messages of abuse sent to her on Ask FM. Hannah’s father is calling for the government to step in and help protect young children from being exposed to abuse on social networking sites.
Ask FM is a social networking site that allows users to be asked questions however anyone can reply and remain anonymous.
Upon reading news such as this it makes me wonder whether children are ever really safe on social networking sites, and how to parents protect their children. On Facebook it is easy to report anything someone posts which your not happy about and in response Facebook will send the offender a warning. Is Ask FM working in the same way ? You would hope upon reading a death threat online someone would have thought of reporting it causing the site to investigate further. I am not blaming the networking for the death of Hannah Smith however perhaps if there was stricter restrictions on what users can post and respond to, perhaps her tragic death could of been prevented