NSPCC responds to Ask.fm website changes

After an audit following the suicide of one of its teenage users, the site has made changes, hiring moderators, making the report button more prominent and adding a website for parents.

| 20th Aug 13

Question-and-answer website Ask.fm has been heavily criticised recently following the news that 14-year-old Hannah Smith from Leicester ended her life after being bullied online. Many companies and charities, including Save the Children, removed their adverts from the site following this news. After an audit, the site has made changes, hiring moderators, making the report button more prominent and adding a website for parents.

According to the Telegraph, the NSPCC welcomed the action but said these changes alone would not combat the problem of online bullying. Clair Lilley, technology expert at the NSPCC, said: “It’s good that Ask.fm have responded to calls for them to do more to tackle online bullying and harassment. Unfortunately these changes come too late for some young people but their suggestions for an improved report button, moderation, and information on sources of help and advice are a step in the right direction.

“However, these changes alone are not going to solve the problem of online bullying. And, while they are being implemented, children and young people are likely to continue to suffer. All social networking sites need to make sure that they are safe and welcoming places for children and young people and that any bullying or harassment by users is not tolerated.”