Anonymous social network Ask.fm has granted users more control of their accounts, allowing them to block questions from anonymous individuals in a bid to crack down on the cyber-bullying and abuse the site has become widely known for.
Having delivered upon a promise to improve the safety of the site made last month, the site founded by Latvian brothers Ilja and Mark Terebin in 2010, will deflect a lot of flak sent its way following the suicide of teen Hannah Smith who took her own life after she was bullied on the platform.
The website, which has about 180 million monthly users, has also moved from the founders’ native Latvia to Ireland, where the site’s owner Ask.com is based.
Doug Leeds, who became the chief executive of Ask following its takeover from IAC, the owner of brands such as Tinder, Vimeo and the Daily Beast, told the Financial Times that it updated its usage policy to “provide new and enhanced information to our users in important areas, such as how to block and report users or problematic content, how to disable the anonymous feature or block anonymous questions.”
Leeds stressed that the overall service will remain unchanged and users will not be charged for the features as part of a premium paid-for service instead adding that he wanted to “empower the user base”.
Following Hannah Smith’s suicide last year brands such as Save the Children, Specsavers and Vodafone pulled their ads.