Website toxic, warns mum

NZ Herald 11 June 2013
A mother will lobby New Zealand companies to pull their advertisements from a Latvia-based social networking site after her 12-year-old daughter was asked to provide explicit photos and subjected to extreme abuse while using it.

The woman, who declined to have her name published to protect her daughter, said local companies would be horrified to see what their brand was aligned with on ask.fm.

And yesterday, after Herald inquiries, State Insurance and BNZ both said they had taken steps to ensure their adverts would not appear on the website.

The police and NetSafe are in contact with ask.fm’s owners about concerns, including that users can pose questions anonymously, enabling bullying and abuse.

The woman said within a month of her 12-year-old daughter signing up to the site she was asked to provide naked pictures of herself, told to kill herself and called a whore and slut.

She looked at her daughter’s friends’ profiles, and in three days found two children threatening to kill themselves in response to abuse on the website.
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