Ask.FM: Your kids know about it;make sure you do, too - New York News

Ask.FM: Your kids know about it;make sure you do, too

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

It's a relatively new social networking site that's already steeped in controversy. It's been linked to cyberbullying that's been linked to at least two teen suicides. Still, many parents say they haven't heard of it before.

Many families are like the Mitchells in Cobb County. Their two girls spend quite a bit of time online using social media. But, the girls they're no different than any other kids their age.

"Facebook, Instagram. And, some of them use it for studying, but rarely," one of the Mitchell daughters said.

Their mother has put rules for usage in place.

Bex Mitchell said, "Electronics are not allowed upstairs. They can't have them in their room. If you they can't do it in front of me, then maybe they shouldn't be doing it."

But, a new social networking site, Bex Mitchell said, had this mother downright terrified. It's called ask.fm

Her daughter said, "It's an app where people can ask questions without their identity being revealed."

After creating a profile, anyone can ask a user questions. But, those asking the questions don't need a profile and can be completely anonymous. That's where the site can get scary.

At least two suicides have already been linked to the site. A 14-year-old British girl reportedly hung herself after receiving numerous abusive messages from users who told her to "go get cancer" and to "go die."

Here in the States, Bex Mitchell says she's read questions about virginity. There was also a disturbing message posted to a Cobb County Middle School student.

"Somebody said to her, ‘I had a dream last night that I raped you and now I want to do it in real life," Bex Mitchell said.

On Ask.FM's safety page, users are told not to answer posted questions that make them feel uncomfortable and they're advised to report any such abuse on the site.  But, it's a warning that might not be enough for Ask.FM's more than 70 million users.

Ask.FM's are required to be at least 13 years of age. But, the Latvia-based company doesn't verify that. An example of how popular the site is, when recent kidnapping victim Hannah Anderson broke her silence about her ordeal, she didn't speak to reporters. Instead, she answered questions through Ask.FM.

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