Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Unpopular Opinion: Ask.fm

If you don't know what ask.fm is, it's basically like a tumblr ask box: people can ask you questions, publicly or anonymously.

Because of the whole "anonymous" factor, the site can lead to some very, very bad things. People can literally sit behind a screen and say whatever nasty thing they want to whoever they want- without the person ever knowing that it is them.

After a couple suicides linked to the site made the news, people automatically started attacking the site and its creators. I mean, I can see why....but I would have to defend the site.

1) The site itself is literally completely harmless. Questions that the site gives you to answer include things like "how many pairs of shoes do you have?" and "what is your favorite movie?" Honestly, it's a creative idea and I love the question and answer format. The anonymous thing is risky, but it's not all bad. I've seen a ton of people get the sweetest things anonymously confessed to them from people who don't want to say it in person. It offers an easy way to compliment and ask questions to people you don't know well! Besides, it's just fun...who doesn't love to answer questions??

The questions the site gives you....

My favorite questions I've gotten...

...and I get the opportunity to voice my opinion on things like this

2) If you want to have an ask.fm account, you need to fully know the risks of having an account and be mature enough to know how to deal with them. Unfortunately, people aren't. Ask.fm gives you the option of blocking users AND reporting them for hate speech- even if they are anonymous. It's not even hard to find- it says pretty clear on the side of every question. If you have common sense, you would block and report the very first mean comment you got! And if you have common sense, you'd be smart enough to take down your account if the site was upsetting you. I got mean comments about my music in addition to nice ones. I wasn't surprised- I just blocked and reported them and moved on. It puzzles and saddens me why these suicide victims just put themselves through this. As you can see, the site DOES have features to prevent things like this; the victims just lacked the responsibility to use them. 

It's sad because it really is a fun site- just very easy to abuse. 

What do you think of ask.fm?

xx Signe

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