Ask.fm E-safety Concerns
Please read more for important information for parents about the social networting site Ask.fm
You may recall that I wrote to you in July to outline my concerns over the social networking site ‘Ask.fm’. For those of you who attended the Parent Information Evening you will also recall that E-safety and the use of social networking websites was a focal point of that evening. The real concern regarding Ask FM regards the anonymity to which users can post abusive, threatening and harmful messages, seemingly with little trace or clue to the victim as to who sent it. We have had a number of cases referred to us where this site has been the forum for such abuse and have found it very difficult to identify those responsible. Through my communications with the Metropolitan Police it is clear that they are also finding it difficult to investigate such issues due to a lack of cooperation from the website providers and the difficulty in obtaining an oversees warrant to obtain user details and identify the perpetrators.
As a school we will continue to educate our students about E-safety, but we strongly advise parents/carers to prevent their child from accessing this website. We recommend you change your internet settings or contact your internet provider to ensure the site is blocked. It is essential that our children are protected from the kind of anonymous cyber-bullying associated with this site and we would ask that you actively support the efforts we are making to address the issue.
We can assure you that we as a school will continue to deal severely with any pupils who are known to be involved in any form of cyber-bullying, but due to the anonymity of ASK FM and the hours we are spending investigating issues of this nature, we will be involving the police in future incidents of this kind.
By working together, and sending our children the same strong message, we can continue to ensure their safety on line.
Mr P Walton
Senior Assistant Headteacher,
Pupil Care and Learning Support.