I want to start this post off by saying RIP Hannah Smith. Hannah was only 14 when she took her own life last week.
Just as a warning to my readers, if there are any comments of a negative kind surrounding this matter you will be reported and blocked. Suicide is a very serious matter and I want no negative comments surrounding this at all.
Hannah was bullied online by people using the website ask.fm. For all of you who do not know what ask.fm is, it is a website where people can sign up and ask others questions and post comments to people. There is the option to ask questions anonymously so that you cannot be identified. The site is extremely controversial and is based in Latvia. Ask.fm have issued a statement saying that they are not responsible for the content posted and that they do not monitor what is posted. This is a discussion point I shall move on to later.
Hannah, who was from Leicestershire, hanged herself due to comments posted on this website last Friday. She indirectly called for help by posting an image saying "You think you want to die, but in reality you want to be saved" on a social media site on Thursday, the day before she took her own life.
Hannah's father posted this message on his Facebook page:
"On Friday morning my daughter was found hanged. Last night I seen her ask fm account and someone had been telling her to die. The person that created this web site should be done for manslaughter (sic.) any parents that have children please dont (sic) let them go on this site"
"My heart is broken in 2 and is gonna take a long time to repair I just hope that none of you have to go through the pain Im goin through rite now and love u all (sic)"
I personally find this so heartbreaking. The father also posted an image of flowers that had been placed outside Hannah's house.
The Leicestershire police have seized both her phone and her laptop to be used in the investigation.
Various messages have been posted on Facebook by her friends, boyfriend and family saying how shocked and saddened they are at her sudden death. I will not be posting these messages on here out of respect for the involved people and to not further show their identity.
This is not the first time that a teenager has taken their own life over comments made on this website. Two girls ages 15 and 13, and a boy aged 15 have also taken their own lives due to these awful comments.
There has been a tribute page set up for the teenager online which currently has over 6000 supporters; both of friends and strangers offering their support.
Hannah received some incredibly horrible comments on her ask.fm page where people called her a variety of awful names and many told her to kill herself or to die. Someone even told her that her uncle deserved cancer and to die. This is completely unacceptable and no one ever deserves anything like that whatsoever. There were many comments on her page, of which I will not be mentioning on here due to the incredibly harsh nature of them.
All of the comments posted to Hannah's page were all done by an individual, or group of individuals, anonymously so their identities could not be traced. This I find highly pathetic. How can someone say things like that to a person online and feel nothing for what they have said? Ask.fm, along with many other social media sites, allows people to use the internet as a mask and hide behind it. They feel big and clever on the internet when they think they are unidentifiable. I hope for Hannah's sake that the vile humans who posted these comments to her page are traced and charged for her death. I do not even care how old they are, things like this should be completely intolerable.
I have a strong hate for this website, which has now only been deepened since hearing about this. Ask.fm is a website which simply fuels hate and pretty much no good ever comes out from it. Hannah was tormented for pretty much every aspect of her life, seemingly by people who knew her, due to this website. Frankly I agree with her father, Dave, in that either the creators of the website or the people who wrote the comments should be charged with her death. Many people will probably argue against this, but there is a rule in law called the 'but for' test. This means that but for the actions, the result would not have occurred. This definitely applies here - but for Hannah taking to this website and receiving these comments, she would not have been driven to taking her own life. Now all you awful people out there who are thinking that it is "her fault" I ask you this: do you sign up for a website expecting to be hauled this huge amount of vile abuse? No. You do not. How would you feel if this was your child? I am telling you, even I feel absolutely helpless after reading this case.
I will go out of my way to get this site taken down if I have to. No one should ever suffer the amount she did, nor should they receive the hurtful and vile comments that were sent to Hannah. The sheer fact that she was affected so much by the comments to the extent that she took her life should prove that this website is completely vile.
I believe this calls for an extreme crackdown on bullying and cyber bullying. Although it is probably an unsolvable situation, there can be things done to lessen it, and to protect vulnerable young people.
I ask you to share this post and to sign this petition by clicking here to ban the Ask.fm site to prevent further deaths.