Bark Blog Logo
askfm - safe for kids?

What Is AskFM? What Parents Need to Know

by | Sep 3, 2016 | Social Media Monitoring

What is Ask.fm?

Ask.fm is a free app and website that allows users to post anonymous comments and questions to a person’s profile. You can sign up by creating an account through Ask.fm or sign in using a Facebook or Twitter account. The app makes it easy to share content on other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Users have the option of cross-posting questions and answers on their Facebook and Twitter feeds and even operate the AskFM app from within Facebook.

Bark monitors the questions/comments they ask and the answers received and the questions/comments they are asked and the answers they post. Log in now to connect your child’s Ask.fm account with Bark.

How AskFM Works

After creating an account Ask.fm users have the option to fill out more personal information and pictures of the user. Check to ensure that your child does not put personal information on their Ask.fm profile. Once the link is shared on the internet, the profile is public and anyone can ask anonymous comments or questions. Users can also search for people they already know and enter usernames and emails to find friends.

Additionally, once a profile goes public, users can “follow” other users and ask questions, but unlike Twitter, for example, a user can never know who is following them, just their overall number of followers. The home page is a stream of questions and comments, and there are daily and random questions to answer on the site. In fact, a user can choose to ask the question anonymously or allow their profile information to show when they opt out of the ‘ask anonymously’ function.

Is Ask.fm Safe?

The main concern with Ask.fm is the anonymous content and that there is no monitoring by Ask.fm. Since the site is allows for anonymous, unmonitored content, it is increasingly being used for cyberbullying, sexualized content, and other abuses. The easy integration with Facebook and Twitter make the content extremely easy to access.

Let’s be honest, with an underdeveloped frontal cortex lobe which results in impulse control issues, most kids and teens (and yes, even some adults) have impulse control issues. Apps like this do not generally result in positive interactions.

Privacy, Blocking & Reporting

There are privacy settings for Ask.fm. A user can go to the privacy tab and select from different setting options to make the account less accessible and less anonymous. You can choose:

  • To not get anonymous questions
  • What email notifications you will get
  • For your answers to be private so that do not show up on the “Stream”
  • To curate “Blacklist” of blocked users who are prevented from asking you a question

To block a user, navigate to the right hand side of each question and click on the small block symbol, choose your reason for blocking and click the Block button. Once blocked you will not get questions from that person. However, even if a user is blocked that person can still access your profile and view other interactions. Users can also remove questions on their profile by clicking on the cross in the top right hand corner.

Additionally, you can make reports of inappropriate content even if you are not a user. If you move your mouse over a post on a profile, there is an option to click on a drop down arrow which allows you to report a post for four different reasons: spam or scam, hate speech, violence, and pornographic content.

How to Monitor Ask.fm

One easy way to monitor AskFM is to sign up for Bark so that the questions/comments your child asks and the answers they receive and the questions/comments they are asked and the answers they post are monitored. We help keep your child safe online and alert you to potential issues like cyberbullying, sexting, or online predators. Additionally, talk to your kids about using anonymous commenting apps in a positive way and that they should always come to you if they are uncomfortable with a question or comment they are asked.

Chatting With Strangers: Bark Now Monitors HOLLA

*As of Feb. 5, 2020, the HOLLA app is no longer available in the App Store. But if your child has an Android device or installed the app when it was still available in the App Store, they're potentially at risk of encountering these dangers.*Bark now monitors the...

Is Reddit Safe? Parental Controls and Monitoring

Even if you’re not familiar with Reddit, you’ve probably at least heard of it. Reddit is the fifth-most visited website in the U.S., in the same company as web giants Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon. Its never-ending stream of content draws kids and adults alike...

How TikTok is Changing What Social Media Means for Gen Z

When we look back at 2019, we’ll remember it as the year that TikTok exploded into the consciousness of Generation Z. Earlier this year, Bark explained what parents need to know about TikTok, as well as the dangers it can pose to kids. But as the platform has...

Instagram and Kids: Hashing Out Hashtags

This is the third and final chapter in our deep dive into Instagram and the way kids use it today. Today, we’ll be discussing hashtags, and how kids can't seem to get enough of them. If you’re just joining us for this series, hello! Our past two posts provided...

Skype Monitoring

Bark now covers Skype, the popular video and voice chat platform. While we’re unable to monitor content shared during live calls, we can monitor the text and media shared through direct messages on connected Android and Amazon devices. By updating their Bark for Kids...
Try Bark for Free

Category

Bark App Updates

Bark for Schools

Child & Teen Depression

Company News

Culture & Media

Cyberbullying

Digital Citizenship

Internet Safety Tips

Parenting Hacks

School Safety

Social Media Monitoring

Teen Suicide Prevention