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Controversial website Ask.fm linked to suicide of 16-year-old Jessica Laney, of Hudson

7:44 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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Hudson, Florida -- Ask.fm is a website based in Latvia with millions of users worldwide. 16-year-old Jessica Laney of Hudson was one of them.

On the chat site the teen posted videos of herself and answered all sorts of questions from both friends and strangers.

But along with all the friendly chat were also cruel words.

Anonymous messages like these:

  • "Why are you so ugly."
  • "Kill yourself. Your worthless."
  • "Can you just kill yourself already?"
  • "And on Sunday Jessica Laney did."

"No one saw it coming," Laney's longtime friend Jessica McAdams said. McAdams and others thought Jessica was ignoring the ugly words, but now they're not so sure.

They've started an online petition aimed at getting the Ask.fm site taken down and they say cyberbulling has to stop.

"I think that's the most horrible thing I've ever heard," said Jamie Salgado about the messages her friend received. "I would never tell anybody that."

Author and anti-bullying activist Gabriella van Rij was bullied as a child and she looked at Ask.fm Wednesday.

Van Rij says cyberbullying, with thousands of people perhaps seeing the remarks, is very powerful.  

"I think especially at this age, when you're a teenager and you take everything to heart, yes, I think it's terrible."

Van Rij urges parents to monitor their kids online activity. And she says we all need to do more to pull the plug on cyberbullying.

"Parents, educators, and friends -- anyone who sees it happening -- step up, so if the victim doesn't do it, then we do it for them."

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