In order to further improve the safety of its social media platform and to continue offering young people a positive and enjoyable online experience, ASKfm has teamed up with Koko, an online emotional distress-support and response service, to respond to the emerging phenomenon of users sending hurtful messages to themselves, also known as “self-bullying”.
This collaboration began at the end of 2017 in order to address an emerging phenomenon where some online users utilize the anonymity offered by the social media platform to send themselves “self-bullying” messages that can appear to their friends and family as being hurtful and harassing.
It is no surprise that young people face a great deal of pressure and emotional issues in their lives, and sometimes they need a way to vent their frustrations. However, some of these responses are not healthy. Dr. Richard Graham, a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist from the Nightingale Clinic based in London, who worked with ASKfm on this issue, explains:
“When everything in our lives feels like it’s going out of control, we might do something we know will make things even worse. All that frustration needs somewhere to go, and when it can’t go anywhere else, we start to take it out on ourselves and can even end up hating ourselves.”
This is where Koko can intervene and help. Koko is an online emotional distress-management application that automatically detects hurtful content and supports ASKfm in discovering and removing such content. The Koko application can also direct users to mental health support services of various kinds who can offer more personalized assistance to those in such distress.