Obviously there’s a lot of anger about the ask.fm website at the moment. Rightfully so. A teenager recently hung herself after getting bullied on the site.
Unfortunately the fix to this won’t happen, at least not quickly. Firstly there’s the big problem. Bad parenting producing kids who never learn about consequences. These kids can use the internet unmonitored, writing anything they want at any time.
Next, the websites themselves. They couldn’t give a stuff. Not really. Sure, they might say that they care about safety and security, but that’s just marketing crap. They don’t.
To monitor an abuse system and to handle the complaints takes time and money. A lot of social sites don’t even have a system for handling abuse, or it’s not easily accessible. Twitter is a perfect example and their Android client still doesn’t have a way to report abusive Tweets.
All social sites just shrug their shoulders and fall back on the YouTube response – “We react to complaints from our community as it’s not possible to monitor all activity on the site ”
It is possible of course. Check comments for bad language or keywords. Put an easily accessible abuse system in place, employ more staff to deal with complaints and ensure everyone using the site has signed up using more than just an email address.
It all costs money, and it could scare users away. Truth be told social sites don’t want either of those things, so they’ll only ever implement a flimsy system which isn’t monitored properly.
Meanwhile, advertisers are distancing themselves from ask.fm following the terrible bullying. It’s a shame they don’t do the same with Facebook, YouTube, online forums and all other social networks who don’t really implement a properly monitored system. It might shock them into doing something more than offering mere lip service.