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Ask.fm linked to cyber-bullying and another teen suicide

Ciara Pugsley, 15, Erin Gallagher, 13, Josh Unsworth, 15, and Hannah Smith, 14 all committed suicide, and they were all were victims of cyber-bullying on their Ask.fm profiles.

Not as famous as Facebook and Twitter, Ask.fm still averages over 13 million daily visitors and has been linked to other teen suicides.

The social network is based in Latvia and allows users to post anonymously, who have to be at least13-years-old to join.

Ask.fm does have privacy settings and allows users to report abuse, but it also warns members that they use the service at their own risk, and that that they are not liable for the content, if found objectionable or obscene.

Hannah was the latest victim of cyber-bullying, were she was reportedly told to "drink bleach", "go get cancer" and "go die".

Her father, David, after finding abusive messages on her computer said:

“I would like to know what and if the government are doing about it as this is happening all the time now. “There are loads of teenagers trying or succeeding in taking their own lives. "Isn’t it about time we stopped this and started protecting the future generation?”

Following Smith’s plea, Prime Minister David Cameron urged people to boycott the sites that allow bullying.

“The people that operate these websites have got to step up to the plate and show some responsibility in the way that they run these websites."

"Just because someone does something online, it doesn't mean they're above the law. If you incite someone to do harm, if you incite violence, that is breaking the law, whether that is online or offline."

"Also there's something all of us can do as parents and as users of the internet and that is not to use some of these vile sites. Boycott them, don't go there, don't join them – we need to do that as well. I'm very keen we look at all the action we can take to try and stop future tragedies like this".

The PM’s speech did not go over well with Hannah’s father who accused the PM of "passing the buck".

“All Mr Cameron has really said is that the Government aren’t going to do anything. I’m sorry but it’s c*** and that “I want regulation introduced to protect our children,” said Smith

Ask.fm sent their condolences to the Smith family and are said to be co-operating with the police in the investigation.

Co-founders, Mark and Ilja Terebin of the social website have also hired a law firm to carry out a full and independent audit of their safety features, and following the findings, will announce what action they plan to take by 4.30pm on Friday August 16.

‘We are committed to safeguarding against bullying and harassment in all forms and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues across the industry to do this,’ read a statement released by the social network.

There is an online petition asking the Goverment to take a Safeguarding Children position against sites like Ask.Fm

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