herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Website is blamed for another teen suicide

TRAGEDY: Ciara Pugsley
TRAGEDY: Ciara Pugsley

A teenage girl in the UK killed herself after being bullied on the same social networking site blamed for the death of Irish girl Ciara Pugsley.

Hannah Smith (14) died on Friday in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, after being 'cyber-bullied' on the question-and- answer website ask.fm, which allows users to send messages to one another without their identity being disclosed.

Her father Dave has called for authorities to close down the site, and those like it, after stumbling across cruel taunts from 'trolls' that he says drove his daughter to take her own life.

 

Anonymous

Writing on Facebook, he said: "On Friday morning my daughter was found hanged... [I saw] her ask.fm account and someone had been telling her to die.

"I have just seen the abuse my daughter got from people on ask.fm and the fact that these people can be anonymous is wrong. The person who created this website should be done for manslaughter," he added.

Ask.fm came in for widespread criticism after Ciara Pugsley, from Leitrim, took her own life last September.

She had been severely bullied on the site, which her family say was a factor in her death.

Last month her father Jonathan said not enough was being being done to prevent more lives being lost.

"We need to see bullying and cyber-bullying taken more seriously," he said.

The founder of ask.fm, Mark Terebin, says the media is "knocking on the wrong door" in relation to the suicides.

"It's not about the site; the problem is about education, about moral values that were devalued lately," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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