SHOULD ASK FM BE CLOSED DOWN AND WHO IS AT FAULT FOR THE NUMBER OF TEENAGE SUICIDES? – When something breaks in society the first thing people do is point the figure. It is simply our nature to find those culpable and hang them out to dry; and in the case of Ask FM it is the owners taking the brunt of the fury.
If you are not familiar with what has been going on let me start by giving you a quick synopsis. Ask FM is a social network aimed at teenagers that allows them to interact and ask questions from its other teenage community members.
Ask FM has come under attack from Government, parents and parent groups after a number of teenagers have been driven to suicide over the horrific taunts that are leveled against them by other teenage trolls who are simply out to destroy someone emotionally.
The latest life to be lost is that of 14 year old Hannah Smith who was subjected to months of torment before she finally took her own life by hanging herself. Even after her death the trolls on Ask FM appeared to revel in their accomplishment.
Now that you have the background the question now is who is culpable for the death of Hannah and a number of other teenage victims?
According to parents and the Government the blame lays solely at the door of Ask FM; or rather its founders Mark and Lilja Terebin, due to their failure to safeguard children’s activities whilst using Ask FM.
Mark and Lilja Terebin on the other hand feel that the behaviour of its members cannot be controlled despite the fact that 50 moderators are employed to monitor any vile content.
In what is an astonishing move Mark and Lilja’s mother, Ludmilla Terebin, has come out to defend her son saying that it is the parents fault for not properly monitoring what their children and doing online.
So who is right? Who is at fault? The final piece of the puzzle of course is within the very people who use Ask FM.
Some are suggesting that the actions of teenagers on Ask FM predominantly reflect today’s youth attitude; not only towards themselves but more importantly towards others.
If your child uses Ask FM ask their permission to access their account and see what goes on – you will no doubt be horrified at some of the taunts and abuse that is carried out from teenager to teenage; which has led us to the point where children are taking their own lives.
So what about our teenagers? If you look carefully at the content and discussions on Ask FM you will quickly discover that no subject is taboo or too depraved for discussion. Considering some of the content, the question needs to be asked… Is this simply the fault of the users?
The mainstream press is attempting to cast an angelic vision of these children who use Ask FM; they are all viewed as innocent victims. However their activities and content strongly suggests that these kids are not only very worldly they are also extremely hostile and vile towards one another; there appears nothing angelic or innocent about these children.
So now we have to examine as to whether our kids are at fault and of course just how vile our so-called little angels are.
I’m not going to attempt to cast dispersions on Hannah Smith or her parents for I don’t know what activities she performed on Ask FM or whether she had an adequate upbringing. Her parents however do have access to her account and have released a number of horrific messages that she received; what it is not being shown is how Hannah responded.
Kids often say that we don’t treat them like grownups and yet is it surprising when they engage in such activities? Any rational person would have become extremely upset at the messages and then simply walked away – however these are not rational people, these are kids who are ill-equipped to deal with complex rational thought; that I’m afraid takes years of development into adulthood and it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their children the attribute of rationality.
The truth to the tragic death of Hannah Smith is that we are all culpable; that is the owners of Ask FM for creating such an unmonitored social network, to the parents not paying enough attention and even allowing their children to use such a website and finally to society for allowing our kids to run feral.
When I was a kid I would hold a door open for any adult; I’d get a clip around the ear if I didn’t. I was also taught to say please and thank you and above all be respectful.
In modern times we have ignored our children, allowed them to run wild, ensured through legislation that we cannot punish them and with all of this we still expect our children to act in a respectable fashion.
The conclusion is clear; society wants websites like Ask FM so that they can fuel their hatred of society. Government has legislated against any form of punishment and parents refuse to teach their children respectful values.
We are therefore, and will remain, all culpable until we finally come to our senses and again instill into our children some form of respect and if that means enforcing it with a bloody good hiding then so be it.
Pointing the finger is quite frankly fruitless because even if you achieve the closing down of Ask FM the demand from teenagers will be so great that another will take its place within a matter of days.
We therefore need to tackle the problem at the source…. Our children.
Do you think we should take more interest in our children and teach them to be respectful? Do you think Ask FM should be closed down? Please leave your comments below.