Recently I had a client ask me about Ask.Fm who was concerned about her young daughter registering for the site.
Upon conducting some research into the site I found persons asking school aged children the most disgusting questions and what was more alarming I observed the recipients of the questions engaging in online conversations with these persons posting the questions where it got to a point the person asking the sexually based question not being happy with the response and replying with some very graphic language and name calling.
As you may recall I compiled a Blog on March 5 2013, where I advised that it has been alleged in a London Newspaper that Ask.Fm has been linked to suicides and from my observations it can lead to some very distressing posts being made and you have to ask, do our children need to be exposed to such ‘anonymous’ posts.
Upon researching Ask.Fm, I established it is a site where once you register you can ‘ask’ or be ‘asked’ any question and each question asked or answered is anonymous. Whilst this seems harmless, it is once the person being asked questions commences to engage with the person that they may let their guard down and inadvertently share private information that may lead to their personal information being posted.
Whilst Ask.Fm have a privacy and security policy where they encourage people not to share private information and to ‘report’ inappropriate comments to them and to law enforcement, I believe it is a site you need to monitor your childs activity and or discuss if it is best they wait until they are 18 years of age.
I have attached one conversation thread I found by just clicking on a persons unknown to me Ask.Fm link that she appears to openly share. As you can see it appears the person who owns the Ask.Fm site is a school girl and the person asking her questions in the open forum is trying to engage her to answer sexually explicit questions that are highly offensive.
It is here I am concerned that we are exposing our children to all these open communication channels where they and some parents alike are becoming desensitized to abhorrent behaviour.