Ask.fm and cyberbullying suicides

Social network site pledges changes after teen suicide uproar:

askfm

Ask.fm is a Q&A type of social network. Users can field questions about themselves from registered or anonymous users. Think of it being more like Formspring rather than Quora. For example here’s my ask.fm profile that I just signed up for. Recently a 14-year-old girl from England committed suicide after allegedly being harassed on the site. I’m not going to mention her name because in a moment it may seem like to some that I’m disrespecting the victim and all victims of cyberbullying.

The solution to cyberbullying is relatively simple. If you can’t handle negativity and harassment from anonymous lowlifes on the internet don’t put yourself out there. I would say that most 14-year-old girls aren’t mentally ready for that kind of pressure. I wish I could say the answer was for everybody to be tolerant to everyone else but that’s not a reality. The hard truth is that there are always going to be intolerant assholes and the more they can be anonymous the bigger the asshole they’re going to be. This is not only for kids but for adults as well. Do you think I could blog for 13 years without being able to take the barbs from various mutants and trolls?

Again my advice for parents is to check up on your kids’ internet and smart phone activity to see if they’re on sites like ask.fm. If you don’t think they’re ready to handle that kind of abuse then there is no need for them to be on ask.fm or any other Q&A site. Tumblr has that function as well.

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