9 August 2013, 12:39

Companies pull their adverts from Ask.fm after teen suicide

Companies pull their adverts from Ask.fm after teen suicide

Several big companies have halted their business relations with popular social media website Ask.fm after a 14-year-old British girl committed suicide following bullying by anonymous taunts.

Among the companies which have decided to pull their adverts from the website are telecom company Vodafone, designer Laura Ashley, tour operator DialAFlight, glasses retailer Specsavers and French energy giant EDF.

14-year-old Hannah Smith from Leicestershire was found hanged by her father, who said she had been targeted on ask.fm by so-called trolls urging her to end her life.

The popular Latvia-based web-site provides users with a forum for posting questions and answers anonymously. According to reports, it has over 60 million users.

The web-site described the death of the teenage girl as a tragedy and said it did not condone bullying of any kind on its site.

In an open letter released on Thursday the web-site said it had an "in-question reporting function" which had been in place since 2012. "This means that anyone can report anything they see that may be of concern," the letter said.

Besides, the company continued, a team of moderators are manually checking the contents of all posts “24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days per year”.

Voice of Russia, BBC

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