Ask.fm is a website where people can ask one another questions. The website has come under fire after a British teenager killed herself this month, leaving behind a trail of intimidation messages fond of her by Ask.fm customers. On Monday, the website announced that they were making quite a few developments to prevent such conduct, based on a statement discussed together with the blog Techcrunch, including which makes it easier to report improper conduct and enabling users to opt-out of receiving anonymous communications. Certain characteristics of the site will no longer be accessible to these who don‘t register using an e-mail address. Next year, it will hire more personnel to moderate opinions on the website.
At this time, a pattern has formed around Web start ups reacting to bullying that takes place on their systems. A fast growing social network sees its user base grow far more rapidly than its employees, who might not have anti-intimidation safeguards such as Ask.fm Tracker at the top of their list of priorities. Finally, these sites find themselves under fire for failing to stop some type of abusive behavior among members. Most of the big American technology companies have fallen in line: Fb, YouTube, and Twitter have all hired employees to monitor and react to inappropriate behaviour by which their customers target one another.
Ask.fm, which will be situated in Latvia and sees most of its own activity abroad, has long been viewed as a laggard on bullying issues, based on Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, an advocacy team. But Silicon Valley is gradually becoming more assertive on this dilemma. While anti-intimidation action normally spikes following a spate of bad marketing, technology firms are studying their lessons. Its like a cycle, he says. Id say its more like a spiral than re-inventing the wheel every time. The newer program businesses are far more aware that safety, trust, and privacy can come to bite them if they dont deal with it advance.
Kids privacy, meanwhile, is attracting increasing attention from regulators and lawmakers. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission updated its rules on the kind of private info websites can collect from children online. Ask.fms problems stemmed more from the perils of online anonymity, among the flashpoint issues for people who believe about life on the Web.
At its simplest level, the argument comes down to those who say anonymity enables abusive behaviour and individuals who think it liberates individuals to talk freely. The Ask.fm example, at first, seems to fit firmly into the anti-anonymity argument that individuals will likely be unbelievably nasty to other people whenever they are able to hide behind a computer screen. But the explanation may not be quite as uncomplicated. The Sunday Times, a British paper, cited a source saying that when Ask.fm tracked the dead adolescents abusers back with their Internet Protocol addresses, 98 percent of the messages originated in her own computermeaning she was purportedly sending hostile words to herself.
The claim promptly drew criticism from individuals who stated that Ask.fm was attempting to deflect the blame. But there is a history of alleged electronic self-harm on internet services that www.askfmtrackers.com prevents.
As they started looking into special cases of teenagers answering anonymous harassing concerns, they began recognizing that a number of brutal questions were posted by the Formspring account owners themselves. In other words, you will find teenagers out there who are self-harassing by anonymously writing mean concerns to themselves and then freely answering them. And then relax and recognize that its maybe not that surprising.