On Tuesday, a 14-year-old girl from England named Hannah Smith committed suicide for unknown reasons. I say unknown because nobody really knows why she did it, but her father is blaming the vicious responses she had received from trolls on Ask.fm (what is it? I don’t care).
Evidently the girl’s father has no idea about trolls, and in case he’s reading this, I’ll explain it. A troll is a sad, lonely person who deliberately posts provocative, and even hateful messages just for attention. All they wanted was attention, and the girl basically let them win, probably having no idea what trolls are, and with no defence against them.
The media doesn’t seem to care though. In fact, stories like these are exploited by the media, who uses them as ammunition in the war against social networking sites. While we’re here, the girl’s father officially turning into a fascist, not just because he wants Ask.fm to be banned, but also because advocates tighter control over all similar social networking sites.
This is simply ridiculous. There are sites everywhere that are full of trolls, and because a teenage girl didn’t commit suicide after viewing those sites, the media doesn’t cover them. For instance, Yahoo Answers is the absolute best place to troll, and is home to some of the most ignorant, idiotic people on the planet, and yet that site hasn’t been taken down yet. Not to mention,
Anyway, who uses Ask.fm anyway? It’s basically the black hole of social networking sites, and its full of hateful people anyway. Why should we all have to suffer because some insecure teenager was trolled at in a site nobody cares about?
On top of that, the girl’s father said it was “wrong” that the trolls were anonymous. Does he have a brain at all? Anonymity is the only thing giving us any freedom on Internet. Take it away, and the Internet becomes a police state where people are too afraid to say anything.
I have a feeling that Ask.fm won’t be banned. Why? Well…
- Ask.fm has been linked to suicide before, and hasn’t been shut down afterwards.
- The people using it who aren’t trolling will probably fight to prevent this.
I think the real solution to the problem is for children and teenagers to be educated about social networking sites, so that they are equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with trolls, and the strength of will to not commit suicide when they’re bullied.
However, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the suicides just yet. As long as the media can find something to use against the Internet, and as long the people want to see scandals and tragedies, then the madness will still continue.