Schoolgirl, 14, hangs herself after being bullied to death by internet trolls on social network Ask.fm
A devastated dad yesterday called for notorious social networking site Ask.fm to be banned – after his 14-year-old daughter was driven to her death by evil internet trolls.
Tragic Hannah Smith hanged herself in her bedroom on Friday morning after anonymous abusers taunted her about her weight and goaded her into committing suicide.
Shockingly, the pretty teenager was repeatedly tormented on Ask.fm – a networking site popular with teenagers which has been linked to a string of suicides.
Less than two weeks before her death, a desperate Hannah begged her tormentors to stop their cruel jibes and even bravely stood up to them.
On July 20 a vile troll wrote: “u ugly f*ck go die evry1 wuld be happy.”
Hannah replied: “yes i may be ugly, but you obviously have an ugly personality to tell people to ‘go die’! oh and btw i think you may need a dictionary love:*”
Days earlier on July 7 another abuser posted: “Die due (sic) die due (sic) die due (sic).”
The day before, she received another chilling message which read: “go (sic) die u pathetic emo.”
On July 5 a troll called her a “fat self harmin c*nt” while another wrote “do us all a favour n kill ur self”.
Another message read: “go comit (corr) suicide but sued (sic) pls.”
Hannah replied: “wouldn’t you fell bad if i did ey?”
On the same day as the torrent of abuse, Hannah pleaded: “omg can you just f*ck off who ever this is.”
On May 5 Hannah was again targeted when a sick troll wrote: “Ur uncle deserved cancer and die.”
In desperation, brave Hannah replied: “My uncle had cancer and yes he sadly passed away and I do miss him, he was an amazing man and he certainly didn’t deserve cancer, so if I was you I would either come say it my face or come off anon so I know who it is.”
On the same day Hannah was even tormented about her family who the troll appeared to know.
The troll wrote: “Would be better if ur mum actualy killed u hahaha.”
A month earlier on April 5 Hannah was taunted because of her appearance.
The troll wrote: “well you are a slag, have you seen yourself, ever heard of how to apply your makeup properly, you look about 10, you even got tits yet, AA :L.”
Another user wrote: “U should commit suicide u ugly f**ker no1 would care if ya died u cretin”
A clearly distressed Hannah replied: “wow, well for your information I’ve tried commiting suicide before, and yes I know I’m ugly no need to tell me 🙁 and getting things like this from people that like to hide behind there computer screen doesn’t make me feel any better then me!
“How would you feel if I did commit suicide because of this? So if you want to give me hate then either inbox me, say it to my face or come off anon!”
Dad Dave, 44, who lives in Lutterworth, Leics., yesterday slammed Ask.fm and said its owners should be taken to court charged with manslaughter.
Writing on Facebook, he said: “i have just seen the abuse my daughter got from people on ask fm and the fact that these people can be annoymous (sic) is wrong
“the person that created this web site should be done for mansluaghter (sic) any parents that have children please dont (sic) let them go on this site.”
Updating his status last Friday, Dave wrote: “just to let all my friends know my youngest daughter took her own life last night.
“rest in peace my baby and you will never be forgotten xxxxxxx”
On Saturday (3/8), he added: “thank you to those who have said sorry for your loss, thank you for the flowers ouitside (sic) my house, thank you for cards put through my door, thank you for following my posts.
“my heart is broken in 2 and is gonna take along time to repair i just hope that none of you have to go through the pain im goin (sic) through rite now and love u all.”
Dave also posted a picture of flowers outside the family home and a mantelpiece of condolence cards next to the comment: “the new pics for ask.fm.”
One pal suggested schoolgirl Hannah had been bullied because a rumour had gone around school that she was pregnant.
Another claimed trolls had told her to kill herself by “drinking bleach.”
Emily Morrison posted: “R.I.P Hannah Smith…she Commited suicide because she was bullied on ask fm as a rumour had gone round school that she was pregnant!
“Hannah was a hard working girl and was 4 weeks away from gaining her exam results that she needed to study A levels at college.
“Hannah had a bright future, it’s such a shame for her to be gone but heaven has gained another angel.”
Boyfriend Kris Cooper, from Leicester, wrote on Facebook: “R.I.P Hannah Jayne Louise May Smith. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel.
“Loads of people will miss you cuss of your amazing personality and just for being amazing. we will all miss you being around. you dint deserve it n people calling your uncle and bullying you. cant stop crying miss you so much beautiful rip 🙁 love you hannah.”
Friends and family also set up a Facebook tribute site in Hannah’s honour, writing: “Hannah Smith; a beautiful young girl who everyone loved very much; who decided to take her own life after being bullied; we will miss you princess; loveyou.”
Since Hannah’s death, her dad Dave has shared a Government petition on Facebook demanded action is taken against sites like Ask.fm.
Just hours after going live the petition attracted 1,209 signatures.
Latvian-based Ask.fm has more than 60 million users around the world and lets anyone see the names, photographs and personal details of boys and girls as young as 13.
Users then post comments or questions on their profile pages that range from insults to sexual advances and threats of violence.
Ask.fm was relatively unknown until last year when two Irish school girls – Ciara Pugsley, 15, from Leitrim and Erin Gallagher, 13, from Donegal – took their own lives after being subjected to anonymous bullying on the site.
An inquest into Hannah’s death will be opened and adjourned today at Leicestershire Coroners Court.
Police were today examining Hannah’s computer and mobile phone.
A spokeswoman for Leicestershire Police said: “Officers were called to an address in Lutterworth, Leicestershire at around 6.45am on Friday August 2, following a report of a body being found at the location.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the Coroner.
“Officers acting on behalf of the Coroner have secured a computer and a mobile phone as part of the Coroner’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the unexpected death.
“Identification of the deceased is a matter for the Coroner.”
An anti-bullying charity said websites like Ask.fm need to tackle trolling and ‘keep children safe’.
Speaking out after Hannah’s tragic death, Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of BeatBullying said: “High profile cases of trolling over the last week have deservedly received lots of attention in the media.
“However we also cannot forget that thousands of young people, as in the tragic case of Hannah Smith, face a daily barrage of online abuse, death threats and harassment.
“Although they may not be in the public eye or have celebrity status, it’s shocking that one in three young people are cyberbullied, and one in 13 face persistent abuse online.
“We cannot stand by while innocent children lose their lives.
“Adults need to set an example for young people and we all have a responsibility to tackle this type of behaviour and keep our children safe.
“We want Internet Service Providers, schools, Government and the police to come together and produce a UK anti bullying strategy, to prove that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“We’d also urge any young person worried about cyberbullying to visit BeatBullying.org for advice and support.”