The mother of a teenage girl who was driven to suicide by online bullies has urged the public to help her close down controversial website ask.fm.
Tragic Izzy Dix, 14, was found hanged at her home after suffering months of vile taunts, insults and cruel remarks.
Her family say she took her life after struggling to cope with the abuse – much of which came via Latvian-based ask.fm.
Izzy’s mother Gabbi, of Brixham, Devon, has attracted 11,000 signatures on her online petition calling on the government to ban the site.
Speaking at the start of Anti-Bullying Week, she urged more parents to sign up – before another child succumbs to the “relentless” pressure of bullying.
Gabbi said: “Izzy was bullied at school and in the community over a period of about 18 months.
“She would be relieved to get home from school but then the abuse continued online. Bullying is relentless these days – there is no break from it.
“We closed down Izzy’s Ask.fm account but a piece of her had already been chipped away.”
The ask.fm website, which has more than 70 million registered users worldwide, allows anyone to post anonymous questions and comments on to a person’s profile.
It has been heavily criticised for its lack of regulation and incidents of cyberbullying and been linked to the suicides of 12 young people around the world in just over a year.
Gabbi wants to see it closed down and tough new government policies introduced to keep young people safe both online and in their schools and communities.
Family friend Maddie Sinclair added: “We are all devastated by what has happened and so utterly determined to help young people in Izzy’s memory.
“Research has shown that almost seven out of ten children in the UK have been bullied at some point. That figure is just horrific and we need to do something about it now.”
A study published Monday to mark the beginning of Anti-Bullying Week found that just one in 10 parents believe their children are safe online.
Police are not treating Izzy’s September 17 death as suspicious and an inquest will be held at a later date.
* Gabbi’s petition to close down ask.fm can be visited at https://www.change.org/
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