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Online bullying: Ask.fm taking steps to heighten security features

The new owners of a website that's worrying educators in Sudbury says it's addressing the problems.
The new owners of a social media site connected with cyberbullying say the problems are being fixed. (Eugenio Marongiu/Shutterstock)

The new owners of a website that's worrying educators in Sudbury says it's addressing the problems.

The principal of Lockerby Composite said she tried to investigate cyber-bullying on Ask.fm but was never able to contact anyone at the site.

A Timmins police officer says he knew of one student who was urged to commit suicide by anonymous posters.

Ask.com acquired Ask.fm about three months ago. Spokeswoman Valerie Combs said the old Latvian owners weren't very responsible.

“We removed the leadership team that was existing in Latvia. They did not share our commitment to safety whatsoever, and we did not want to pursue the company if they were going to be working with us,” she said.

Combs added the new owners are putting in more and better security features, and are also expanding their ability to address complaints more quickly.

“We are serious about taking that responsibility but it also means responsibility from the users,” she said.

New security features are being integrated into the site. Combs noted the process is a huge job because Ask.fm has 180-million users in several countries.

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