Statement about Ask.FM's open letter
The UK Safer Internet Centre welcomes the open letter posted by Ask.FM. Our thoughts and sympathies at this time are with Hannah Smith’s family and we will be supporting Leicestershire Police and other investigating agencies if needed.
We have been working with Ask.FM over recent months to resolve complex cases to our helpline, and to gain a better understanding of how their reporting procedures work. We also asked them to have input into creating our help sheet. This help sheet was created in response to the most popular questions to the helpline – how to report a problem and how to disable anonymous commenting.
We are pleased to hear that Ask.FM are constantly working to improve the site and its safety features. We will work to communicate clearly to Ask.FM the measures and design features that we feel should be integrated into the service moving forward. One change in particular we would like to see would be for users to "opt in" to anonymous questions, rather than it be a default setting, which we believe would be a good deterrent for abusive behaviour. In addition, to support our work we have created a simple online form to capture any improvement comments you may have. Please visit here to submit your improvement suggestions www.swgfl.org.uk/askfmimprovement
There are a number of sources of support and should you need any help, please do visit www.saferinternet.org.uk/need-help
For press enquiries, please contact Laura Higgins, at our Professionals Online Safety Helpline on 0844 3814772.