Ask.fm Move Highlights Cyber-Bullying Dilemma- Seán Crowe
Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said that the
decision by Ask.fm to locate its business from Latvia to Ireland raises new
challenges and difficulties regarding cyber-bullying. The site has
traditionally allowed users to post anonymously, has been at the centre of a
storm of criticism over facilitating cyber bullying, that has led, it is
claimed to some vulnerable children and teenagers taking their own lives.
Deputy Seán Crowe said
"Cyber-bullying is a very real and growing dangerous problem, which needs to be addressed by legislators and society in general. Despite very high profile tragic cases, the Government has up to now ignored or failed to take any meaningful action to tackle this phenomena. Research released from the Office for Internet Safety has found that children are twice as likely to be bullied online as they are in the playground, yet the Government has failed to come up with any new initiatives to tackle this growing societal problem.
"They failed to provide even the most basic information and advice, leaving parents to trawl information from other jurisdictions on the best way to respond to this new threat.
"We know that in this technological savvy age that cyber-bullying can and has had devastating consequences particularly on vulnerable individuals.
"The Minister for Children James Reilly and this government needs to do more to protect children from the scourge of cyber-bullying. This latest move from Ask.fm would be an opportune time to reopen concerns regarding this type of bullying. A face to face engagement between the Government and the Office for Internet Safety in order to explore ways of clamping down on cyber-bullying would be a good beginning.
"We need to begin by investing more in education and public awareness, but there is also a need for sanctions to deter people from this type of online bullying. If we don't become more seriously engaged in this subject, then more and more vulnerable children will pay the ultimate price for our inaction."