GOLDEN, Colo. -- The Jefferson County District Attorney’s office Wednesday warned parents about the website Ask.fm.
It’s a social media site that originates in Europe, but is growing more and more popular in Colorado, especially among young people.
The DA’s office says they’ve received more than 30 calls in the past three weeks from parents and teachers who are concerned about the site. It’s been linked to nearly a dozen teen suicides in Europe and at least one in the United States.
Investigator Mike Harris points out an account that belongs to a 14-year-old Jefferson County girl. He says, “Someone posts ‘no one cares about your life.’” He says, “An anonymous person is telling this girl no one cares about your life, go cut yourself again.
Some of the other posts are shockingly cruel and the teen’s responses are heartbreaking.
Harris says, “She responds ‘I figured’. So you can see she’s almost caving in to what this person is telling her.”
Harris says, “There are posts to the point of people telling kids they’re worthless, to the point where they’re telling kids they should just kill themselves.”
Most social media, like Facebook, require an email address or other identifying information.
But you can post completely anonymously on Ask.fm.
The site also encourages teens to engage in running battles and arguments with other posters. And it does not remove offensive, threatening or criminal posts.
Harris says the advice he gives to teens is the same he’s been giving for years. That is, don’t talk to someone using social media that you don’t know in person. And he cautions parents to make sure they know what apps their kids are using and what the apps do.