Ask.fm faces backlash from advertisers after teenager’s suicideNZ Herald 9 August 2013
Kiwi mothers are renewing calls for the controversial social networking site ask.fm to be shut following another suicide linked to cyber bullying between users.
Police are urging parents and schools to block the site after speaking with the people behind it.
The deaths of four British teenagers have been linked to the site since September, including that of Hannah Smith, 14, last week. Hannah had received a series of abusive messages on ask.fm including “go get cancer” and “go die”. Her sister Jo, 16, has since been subjected to similar online abuse.
New Zealand police told Latvian-based ask.fm several months ago that its website is linked to cyber bullying in New Zealand.
“They suggested that users should disable the anonymous question function to minimise the chances of bullying occurring,” a police spokesman said yesterday.
The website linked to the suicide of the teenager Hannah Smith is facing a backlash after several major companies decided to withdraw advertising from the site.
Specsavers, Vodafone, Laura Ashley and the charity Save the Children have all pulled ads from ask.fm.
Hannah, 14, was found hanged on Friday after being bullied on the website.
A Specsavers spokesman said the company had instructed ask.fm to remove all its adverts from the site because of “deep concerns over cyberbullying“.