Latest social media website could be a bullying threat to your family

Published: Friday, Sept. 27 2013 6:00 p.m. MDT

"It’s like bullying in the real world, bullies want to get a response out of someone," she said. "Sometimes if you’re not even responding to that cyberbullying, that’s a protection for yourself."

And finally, she said, children need to report cyberbullying to a trusted adult, and parents shouldn't be afraid to report the attacks to school officials or law enforcement.

When asked about Ask.fm, Jensen said her organization is aware of the website, but so far it doesn't seem to have become ubiquitous among Utah teens.

"We teach in schools all the time and we haven’t heard a lot of kids familiar with it, which is probably a good thing," she said.

She said she didn't feel Ask.fm was more dangerous than websites like Facebook and Twitter — which have also been linked to cyberbullying and suicide in the past — but because it is new people may not be as familiar with it and the potential dangers of using it.

The 16-year-old Ask.fm user said she initially would respond to some of the hateful messages she received, but quickly learned that only egged on her attackers. Now, she said she simply deletes the messages from her profile after taking a picture to document what is being said.

She also said there's more to Ask.fm, and other social networking sites, than people who want to cause you pain. She said she still receives messages from friends and people who are genuinely interested in communicating with her, and said victims of bullying should focus on the positive, rather than the negative.

Her case is being investigated by school and law enforcement officials.

"I’ve learned through all this that I care more about what people who are nice to me say or think because they usually know me better anyway," she said.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com

Twitter: bjaminwood

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