Why it’s popular: Although there are some friendly interactions on Ask.fm — Q&As about favorite foods or crushes, for example — there are lots of mean comments and some creepy sexual posts. This iffy content is part of the site’s appeal for teens.
What parents need to know:
- Bullying is a major concern. The British news website MailOnline reported that the site has been linked to the suicides of several teens. Talk to your teens about cyberbullying and how anonymity can encourage mean behavior.
- Anonymous answers are optional. Users can decide whether to allow anonymous posts and can remove their answers from streaming to decrease their profile’s visibility. If your teens do use the site, they’d be best turning off anonymous answers and keeping themselves out of the live stream.
- Q&As can appear on Facebook. Syncing with Facebook means that a much wider audience can see those Q&As.