Internet users should boycott “vile” websites that allow cyberbullying to help prevent more deaths of young people, the prime minister has said. This is from the Guardian…
David Cameron asked parents to boycott sites that granted bullies unmoderated access to young people and said those who posted abuse online were not above the law.
He urged website operators to act responsibly to protect children from bullies, following the death of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who killed herself on Friday after receiving abuse on Ask.fm.
…Cameron told Sky News: “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.”
His comments were welcomed by Emma-Jane Cross, from the campaign group Beatbullying, who said Ask.fm had to start taking children’s safety more seriously.
“For some young people, this site has become an ecosystem of hate and we must ensure that cases like Hannah’s can never happen again,” she said. “Until this happens, we’re calling on the public, young people, parents and schools to boycott Ask.fm.”
Is boycotting sites like Ask.fm the answer? Or do children need better strategies to cope with any cyber-bullying? Or should the sites be better moderated? Since this story broke, aA lot of organisations have taken to twitter announcing they will no longer advertise on Ask.fm, so maybe public pressure can make an impact, but what’s the best approach for schools and parents to take? Please share in the comments or on twitter…