A Huffington Post article states:
"According to the Irish Independent, Erin Gallagher of Ballybofey was reportedly found dead by relatives on Saturday night. The teenager had allegedly "warned her tormentors" that she was intending to commit suicide only 24 hours before.
"U prob think it was funny when [I] f**in put a rope round my neck cause of yous [sic]," she wrote on Friday in a post on ask.fm, a popular social networking site. Her comment had reportedly been directed at an anonymous person who had been bullying her."
We need to first put out the statement that cyberbullying is rarely the sole cause of a teen suicide. You can read more about that here.
Ask.fm, the social media site Gallagher used is basically a site where your photo/profile is made public, anyone can make a comment or ask a question and you are supposed to answer it. It is an unmonitored site where anonymous aggressors can do a Digital Pile On. Kids DO NOT need to be on this site. If anything, they can have the option of a closed social group on Facebook. We know that when regular people don't have accountability online (their real identities aren't revealed along with their comments, the disinhibition effect takes over; i.e. "I don't see you face to face, therefore, I don't feel empathy for you.")
Like Rating Sites, this Ask.fm has no redeemable value for young kids. The one question I'd want to ask any young person who wants to be on this site is: "Why is public approval so important to you?" The larger issue to address is: how do you get what you need without having to go on sites like Ask.fm?
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