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Ask.fm outs safety features following controversial bullying row

Service will make 'report' button more obvious and hire more staff
Mon Aug 19 2013, 14:12
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CONTROVERSIAL WEBSITE Ask.fm introduced a safety policy on Monday after the service was blamed for the death of a 14 year old girl who was bullied on the website.

The BBC reported that Ask.fm has made a number of changes to its website in the wake of its recent bullying scandal, including making its Report button more visible, adding "bullying and harassment" as a category for reported posts and promising to view all reports within 24 hours. The service has also said it will hire more staff to monitor such posts and that it will limit the number of features available to those who aren't registered on the website.

John Carr, secretary of the UK Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety told the BBC, "The number of moderators they employ will be crucial as well as how fast they can be trained.

"But the measures they've announced definitely show they got the message and are moving in the right direction."

These new features come just weeks after Ask.fm found itself caught up in a bullying row earlier this month, with 14 year old Hannah Smith reportedly having committed suicide after having received abusive messages on the controversial question and answer website.

Following this controversy, Prime Minister David Cameron called for people to boycott the Ask.fm website, adding that more should be done to track down online trolls.

Cameron said, "It is an absolutely tragic case and my heart goes out the family of Hannah Smith for the way she suffered and they are suffering today. It's not the case that there's nothing we can do just because it's online and I think there are some steps that need to be taken."

"Just because something is done online doesn't mean that it's legal. If you incite hatred, if you incite violence, that's a crime," he added. "Those people can be chased." µ

 

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