Ask.fm co-founder criticises David Cameron's remarks and says that it is not responsible for death of Hannah Smith
Ask.fm co-founder Klavs Sinka, has criticised comments made by Prime Minister David Cameron and said that the social-media website linked to the suicide of teenager Hannah Smith, is “in no way guilty” for her death.
Speaking to ITV News, Sinka, who co-founded the site with his brother, denied that it was responsible for the death of Smith, who took her own life after receiving anonymous messages through it prompting her to drink bleach and kill herself.
“You can construct a car with air bags and seat belts, but you cannot put a person next to you that will put a seat belt on you in an emergency,” Sinka told ITV News, adding it was up to its users to follow its privacy policies.
Smith’s father has called on the owners of the site to be prosecuted over the death of his daughter, while advertisers such as Save the Children, Laura Ashley and Specsavers have all pulled their spend on the site in the wake of reports of her death. The issue has highlighted the problem faced by advertisers around the transparency of their marketing when using programmatic trading and where it is placed without their knowledge or control.
Meanwhile, Sinka also said that David Cameron “did not have all the information about the case” when he called for parents to boycott “these vile sites” when asked about Smith’s death.
The site has also been linked to the suicide of Daniel Perry, who apparently received similar anonymous messages on Ask.fm, although his death is reportedly a direct consequence of being targeted by online blackmailers through his use of Skype.