When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire parents urged to help tackle online bullying
3:00pm Saturday 10th August 2013 in News
PARENTS are being asked to check their children’s web profiles after teenage rows on a contraversial site.
Ask.fm has sparked calls for the site to be closed down after the suicide of a young girl who was bullied on the website.
Sexual remarks and insults towards young people from Blackburn and Burnley using the site, which has no privacy settings, has also seen concerns raised.
One Blackburn girl on the site, who gives her age as 14, has had public and explicit sexual comments made to her.
A teenage Burnley girl on the site is also called a four letter word and responded by saying she will defend herself against ‘haters’.
It comes after the deaths in April of Longridge school pupil teenager Josh Unsworth and Leicestershire teenager Hannah Smith on Friday who were bullied on the site.
Parents are now being urged to check which sites their children use, and which privacy settings the site offers.
Rhyddings headteacher Paul Trickett said: “It’s key that parents know what information their kids send out, and what they see coming back in.
“Some teenagers are more mature than others, but the parents needs to check they aren’t having to handle too much online.
“Privacy settings are so important. It’s amazing how much information kids are sending about themselves freely out into the world.”
Haslingden High School headteacher Mark Jackson added: “We’ve had a number issues in the school with more than one of these unrestricted type sites. Kids get really upset because they’ve invited personal comments but don’t expect responses to be so nasty.
“These sites are dangerous when there is no privacy and it’s a free for all. We try to steer the kids away from it, but it is the world they have grown up in. As teachers we wish these sites had never been invented”
Ask.fm has open profiles where any internet user can ‘ask’ the member a question. Hannah, 14, was found hanged by her 16-year-old sister last Friday at their home in Lutterworth after being abused on the site.
Josh, 15, was found hanged in April after he was also reportedly subjected to months of abusive messages.
Mark and Ilja Terebin, bosses of the Latvia-based website, said the site has the technology to identify bullies and that they are committed to supporting the Leicestershire Police investigation.
Comments are closed on this article.