ASKfm: Ask Anonymous Questions
Bullying is a serious problem with the Ask.fm app and should be a major concern for parents. In the past several years, multiple cases of teens committing suicide have been directly linked cyberbullying and harassment received via the Ask.fm platform. For some of these teens, the bullying lasted longer than one year and included messages from anonymous users encouraging the victims to kill themselves. While concerns over bullying are more than enough to keep your child or teen from using this app, they are not the only concerns you should have. Since friends can be added through the app, your child may be interacting with predators or extortionists. At least one suicide has been linked to an extortion scam following one teen’s online relationship with a user he believed to be girl. The user blackmailed the teen, threatening to reveal explicit images and video unless paid off. Because of the risks associated with using the Ask.fm app, no child under 18 should have it.
If your child has been using the Ask.fm app, you need to discuss your concerns about the app and the reasons they are not allowed to use it. You should have a conversation with them concerning cyberbullying and determine whether or not they may have been a target. If so, you may want to get them involved with a counselor who can help them work through their experiences in a healthy manner.
Below, we have compiled links to stories of teens committing suicide as a result of bullying via the Ask.fm platform. We suggest you view these stories to learn more about how serious cyberbullying can be, especially when the target is a child. Also, it is important to be aware that users of the Ask.fm app can access the platform via the Ask.fm website. Even if your child removes this app from their phone, they can access their account from a web browser.
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