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What is Ask.fm?

Find out more about how to use Ask.fm and the safety features available


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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Ask.fm is a website for answering and asking questions anonymously online. While most people use it for fun, there can be cases of cyber bullying and abuse so if you would like to know more about how to report any abuse or deactivate your account, check out our guide below.

How does Ask.fm work?

Users can follow you and you can follow other people, similar to Twitter. You can't see who follows you, only how many followers you have. This means you can view answers and questions on a person's profile.

You can ask people questions anonymously or identify yourself when you ask them. You can check what questions people have asked you under the "Questions" tab and once you've answered these, they'll appear on your profile.

You can link your Ask.fm profile to your Facebook or Twitter so your questions and answers will appear on your timelines.

Remember your Ask.fm profile is always public. The only thing you can change about your privacy settings is whether anonymous users can ask you questions.

Anonymous questions

While Ask.fm can be used for anonymous questions, you can change the settings on your account so that people can't ask questions anonymously. If a user can be identified they are probably less likely to be abusive online.

Controlling visibility

Anything that you publish to your Ask.fm page is publicly visible, so bear that in mind before posting anything. However, if you get asked a question that you don't want to publish, you don't have to. Plus, if you've published an answer that you no longer want to be visible, you can remove it by clicking the Delete button on the top right corner of the question.

Reporting and blocking

If you receive and inappropriate or hurtful message, or if you want to block someone from being able to ask you questions, you can use the block and report functions.

Reporting

If you receive abuse or hate speech, or someone asks you an inappropriate question, you can report it online. You don’t have to be logged into your account to do this. To report a post, tap the three dots next to the post and select report. You can also report a user from their profile by clicking the three dots and selecting report.

Blocking

If you want to block a particular user from asking you questions, you can go to their profile, click the three dots and select block.

Remember when you block a person from asking you questions anonymously, they can still view your other Q&As on your profile.

The Ask.fm Discover feed

The Ask.fm Discover feed is a publicly visible stream of Ask.fm answers from all over the world. If you don't want to appear on it, you can edit this in your Account settings bu deselecting the "Allow showing my answers on Discover feed" setting.

What to do if you are being bullied

While Ask.fm can be a fun way to interact with people, some users experience bullying, especially with anonymous questions.

Don't reply to the messages

It's best not to reply to the messages. Doing so will let the bully know that they've gotten to you, and may encourage them to continue. It's best to ignore and not respond.

Save the messages

Keep the message in your inbox and take screenshots so that you can show that you've been receiving hurtful messages. Do this even if it's anonymous.

Tell someone

Talk to someone about what's going on, such as a close relative, a family friend, a teacher, health professional or a youth worker or contact a free confidential support service.

In serious or persistent cases report the bullying to Gardaí yourself or through your parents.

Block and report

Block the users and report the messages to Ask.fm so that they can look into it and, if possible, remove the user from the site. 

Turn off anonymous questions

If you are receiving a lot of messages from anonymous users, try turning off anonymous questions in your settings to see if it stops people from sending them.

Ask.fm have a dedicated safety centre that you can visit with links and resources.

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Published August 7th2013
Last updated May 23rd2018
Tags ask.fm cyberbullying internet safety
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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