13 Aug 2013
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Schools urged to ban Ask.fm

By Rebecca Wood

Schools are being urged to block social networking site Ask.fm following its links to cyber bullying of New Zealand students and the recent suicides of two British teenagers.

The website, which allows users to pose questions to each other anonymously and post comments anonymously, has become a haven for cyber bullying say its critics.

New Zealand Police have contacted Ask.fm to express their concern that the website is linked to cyber bullying in New Zealand.

A statement released by Southland police suggests that users should disable the anonymous question function to minimise the chances of bullying occurring.

“This is another reminder for young people to be very careful about what social media they engage in and for parents and caregivers to take a keen interest in how their young ones are using social media.”

The statement goes on to say schools and parents are advised to block the site completely as the harm it causes far outweighs any perceived benefits.

NetSafe, a group set up to help keep New Zealanders safe on the internet, has identified some ways users of the site can stay safe, such as not allowing anonymous questions and blocking those that are harassing other users.

Ask.fm is based in Latvia and was launched in 2010. It has around 200 million users.

What do you think of Ask.fm? Tell us your experiences below.

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