Hannah Smith
Bullying Survivor
Female | Lutterworth, England   United Kingdom
Teenager commits suicide after Internet bullying
Bullying Type: Emotional
Posted By: WashOut
8/06/13 9:37 AM
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The tragic case of a teenage girl who committed suicide after being bullied on the Internet was examined by today's episode of 'Daybreak'. Hannah Smith was just 14 years of age, when she was found dead in her bedroom by her father, with the teenager having apparently hanged herself, leaving a short suicide note which outlined her mental and emotional turmoil.

It is thought that her negative experience on the website ask.fm was central to the emotional breakdown that lead to Hannah's suicide. In the weeks that lead up to her death, Hannah received messages both criticising her appearance and even encouraging her to kill herself. Among the offensive remarks that she was subjected to was the suggestion that she "drink bleach" by some of the anonymous 'trolls' that occupy such sites. This is not the first suicide linked with ask.fm, with 16-year-old Jessica Laney having been found dead at her home in Florida in December of last year, after receiving similarly abusive messages via social media websites.

The tragedy of Hannah's death will be placed in the context of an increasing media emphasis and awareness of the extent of bullying and 'trolling' which takes place on the Internet. In recent weeks, a group of female journalists, several of whom could be described as 'feminist', have received a series of threats and abuse in a concerted campaign which has been reported widely by the media. Hannah's father, David, has posted on Facebook regarding his belief that parents should be more aware of the problems associated with ask.fm, often condemned as a fertile environment for stalkers by Internet experts.

While the relative anonymity of the Internet is a big plus point of this wonderful resource, I must confess that if one reads comments underneath Youtube videos, and any number of other comments that are written on unmoderated or relatively unmoderated Internet sites, then one is simply forced to concede that this is a problem.

Given the revelations related to PRISM, and the recent push by the government to block sections of the Internet from general usage, there is a delicate balance to be considered here. One would hope to retain the Internet as a relatively free and uncensored source of information, in which people retain some sense of privacy and are not being continually and invasively monitored. But personally for me, I've never posted anything on the Internet that I wouldn't be willing to put my name to, and taking away some of this anonymity from certain sites would prevent a lot of these problems.

Alternatively, people could stop using social media completely, as I am yet to see any real good come from it, but have definitely observed a great deal of harm caused by it.


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Posted By: DangersCousin | 8/06/13 12:02 PM
Free speech is precious in our "free society" and should not be censored. The trolling on sites like Ask.FM and others is a tragedy and I assume done mostly by kids - parents need to instill values in their kids at an early age to help decrease the likelihood of things like this from happening.
Posted By: AppleCareGuy | 8/07/13 12:13 PM
I hate that ask.fm site. I'm always hearing about kids telling others to "kill themselves" - and so many kids end up doing just that.
Story Details

Name: Hannah Smith
Age: 21
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Lutterworth, England
Gender: Female
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
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Height: N/A
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Tattoos: No

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