Ask.fm is a global social media site where users create profiles and can send each other questions, together with the option of doing so anonymously. The website was set up in Latvia and found on June 16, 2010 as a rival to Formspring.

It’s since overtaken the latter concerning global traffic generated with 150 million monthly unique users as of March 2015. The site was purchased by Ask.com in August 2014 with the aim to “focus on turning around the doctrine of the organization and putting trust and safety first.” Since the acquisition, the company has made a number of changes toward its aim of improving the security of its own users.

ask fm website abuse

These include parting ways with Ask.fm creators, Mark and Ilya Terebin, whom Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds described as having a “laissez-faire” approach to security and proactively partnering together with the New York Attorney General and the Maryland Attorney General in the introduction of a multi-step strategy to turn the website around.

Safety Advisory Board of Ask.fm:

Ask.fm has since launched its first-ever Safety Advisory Board of which John Carr OBE, Anne Collier, Marsali Hancock, Dr. Brian O’Neill and Dr. Justin Patchin are board members, as well as a new Safety Center which comprises specific instruments, hints and guidance for adolescents, teachers, parents and law enforcement. In February 2015, under the direction of Chief Trust and security Officer Catherine Teitelbaum, Ask.fm sponsored its first Ask fm Tracker and launched a #nobullies campaign to drive consciousness of the organization’s no tolerance policy for abusive behavior on the Ask.fm service.

Bullying caused so many Accidents Even Suicides:

In mid-2013, before Ask.com bought Ask.fm, the website was the topic of several media posts about cyber bullying which have been associated with suicides. This was largely in response to widely reported cases of anonymous bad messaging and suicides seemingly resulting from such bullying.

The website courted controversy by not having workable reporting, tracking or parental control processes, which have become the norm on other social media sites. Now owned by Ask.com, the site has a complete set of reporting and blocking attributes in addition to an updated Terms of Use and Privacy Policy which details the ground rules of using Ask.fm.

Monitoring on the content of Ask.fm:

At the time, existing leaders Mark and Ilya Terebin responded to the claims by saying that they did have a reporting attribute and use a number of moderators to fight cyberbullying. Consequently, the website had a “sexually explicit comment” computer screen staffed by moderators; nonetheless, no comments were ever deleted, even for explicit threats. This was a major cause of criticism. Under Ask.com direction, Ask.fm has considerably enlarged filters with key words and language patterns and has improved automated moderation.

He called for tighter controls against social media sites like Ask.fm, saying he had seen the mistreatment his daughter had received and it was erroneous that it was anonymous. The Smith family calls were echoed by the parents of Goosnargh, Lancashire adolescent Joshua Unsworth, who was reported to have been “cyberbullied” on the site prior to his suicide. The business responded by stating it was ‘happy to aid authorities’.

Ask.fm is growing with a good rate:

Several advertisers responded by severing connections with the website, including (amongst others) Save the Children, eBay and BT. Vodafone had already stopped advertising on the site.

However, the website remains popular and growing. Ask.fm has 150 million users, 25 billion responses and 49 languages.

Relocation of Company Headquarters:

Since Ask.com has got Ask.fm, it’s relocated its headquarters to Dublin, Ireland and spent millions of dollars to establish the infrastructure and whole procedure to boost safety. As part of its move to Ireland, Ask.fm officials met with the Department of Children to assure the proper measures are being taken to “significantly improve” protections on the site.

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