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Formspring Forms Bullies

Posted by archifCLICarchive from National - Published on 31/05/2010 at 08:25
7 comments » - Tagged as People

  • Formspring logo

Yn Gymraeg

Warning: I may rant slightly in this article. [Sub-Ed Note: Opa! We love a rant on theSprout]

Well, first of all, I want to ask, who was smart enough to think that a site on which anybody can randomly ask and abuse people was clever? It is a ridiculous idea and has managed to open a gate for cyber-bullies.

A few of my friends receive constant abuse on formspring day after day on their popularity, sexuality and social rank in the society we live in today. They may answer with witty and clever answers but the vulgarity of the abuse is ridiculous. I have seen people being discriminated against for their sexuality alone! 

People will decide to direct their hatred at one person and say stuff like: “Haha emo you cut your wrists” and some even try to play with the victim and say stuff like: “I'm gay and think you're really hott, am i right in thinking youve recently come out? i would love to hook up sometime x” This ended up being a fake comment as there was no other comment like this a week on.

I find this disgusting. Who in their right mind wants to cause someone pain and grief across a silly little website? Yes, I do understand that some of the victims themselves will say “oh but it’s funny!” but that does not hide how wrong it is. 

These bullies, haters, abusers need to realise what they are doing. Do they understand how hard it is to be different in such a hormonal, childish social group? I think not. Have they ever experienced coming out after months, or years of hiding your sexuality? I think not. Yes I do understand that they may not understand what they are doing, but it is still wrong.

However, I do believe, when used right, formspring can be very fun and enjoyable. I still use it to ask fun questions and mess around with friends. All I am saying is don’t abuse your rights on formspring and don’t use it as a method of cyber bullying. 

Yes, some may take it light-heartedly, but others my take it to heart and suffer.

For information on what to do if you are being bullied, please click here.
If you feel you are the victim of homophobia, it might be worth getting in touch with
Loud & Proud.
And remember Meic is ever ready.

7 CommentsPost a comment

Dan (Sub-Editor)

Dan (Sub-Editor)

Commented 72 months ago - 31st May 2010 - 15:19pm

If you are receiving abusive messages on Formspring, you should click on 'settings' in the bar at the top. Choose the option 'Don't allow any anonymous questions' and the only people who will be able to write on your Formspring are those who are logged in and have an account, so you know who they are.

Although the most important thing to remember is that any question or comment that is insulting can just be deleted. If the bullies realise you won't answer their questions and instead just delete them, they'll soon stop bothering.

jeopreddy

jeopreddy

Commented 72 months ago - 1st June 2010 - 18:54pm

I get constant abuse on Formspring! I was just following the status quo, everybody seems to be getting Formspring, so I decided to give it a go, I wish I didn't now. The worst thing about it is that it's people you know that abuse you, that don't have courage to say things to you in person, and in some cases it's your friends! I'd advise anyone interested in getting Formspring, not to get it! It's dangerous and has led to a suicide!

Dan (Sub-Editor)

Dan (Sub-Editor)

Commented 72 months ago - 2nd June 2010 - 10:04am

It's important not to take these things too seriously. If an anonymous question is enough to drive you to suicide then you really need to learn to ignore such comments, and set your page to not allow them (if you have one at all).

http://www.cliconline.co.uk/en/info/health/mental-health/suicide/

luckylady

Commented 70 months ago - 2nd August 2010 - 22:40pm

Formspring has to be banned
There is no excuse for this site being allowed to continue, whether we can patrol the internet, or not. I accept that we do want freedom of speech throughout all nations, but freedom of speech means the ability to say what you believe, whilst saying who you are, and not being condemned for your views. In this way, by attaching your name to your comments, you are responsible for them, and therefore really believe them to be true. If you express your opinions anonymously, you can say things that may be false, libellous, or just plain hurtful, and you never have to take responsibility for them.

Children, ie teens less than 16 years old, say and do the most hurtful things to each other. Sometimes, it's because they have had awful things said or done to them by adults - parents, even - and they want to make it "payback time". Sometimes, they feel threatened by their peers - perhaps they are more popular or liked at school - so what better way than Formspring to vent their hatred and hopefully make sure that a particular person in their class is now the subject of attention, even if it is all shrouded in lies.

The bottom line though is that parents have to be totally in control of their teens' access to the internet, in all its forms. MSN may be good for keeping in contact, but what about old fashioned telephone chat? Email and Facebook might be good for chatting but I love it when my 12 year old gets a letter (yes, in an envelope, with a stamp on it!) and her face lights up! We parents remember getting mail in the box, our kids would love it too... Let's try to encourage more normal, non cyber-space contact for our kids, and also -God help me for suggesting this - let's try to get them socialising in more normal ways - playing together at each others' homes, playing outside in the parks, and generally letting them be children. Until they hit 16, that's what they are.

Pasternak

Pasternak

Commented 70 months ago - 3rd August 2010 - 03:50am

luckylady,

Phonecalls and letters can also be anonymous. Communicating via the internet is not any more "evil" or "dangerous" than the traditional means; it is merely more efficient.

To suggest that Formspring be banned really isn't the answer to combating bullying. Formspring is a means to ask QUESTIONS, not send anonymous hate mail. If you don't like the question you have been asked, you can delete it. And if someone has misused Formspring by not asking you a question at all and merely sending you abuse, or asked you a loaded/misleading question which makes you feel uncomfortable, you can delete it, report them, or simply set your profile to not receive anonymous messages.

I have received a vast range of questions on Formspring: some deep and philosophical, others profoundly stupid. Personally I choose to answer them all, because they're only words and I don't let such small things "damage" me. That is a personal choice, just like deleting a question or *not signing up to Formspring in the first place*.

To suggest that the site be entirely banned purely because some people *might* abuse it is profoundly ignorant and judgemental; it would be like suggesting we make cars illegal just because they can potentially be used to run people over.

angelini

Commented 64 months ago - 10th February 2011 - 16:19pm

I'm writing a piece for the Sunday Times on Formspring and am looking to talk to young people about it, particularly if they've experience abuse on it. If any of you are interested in contributing please email me - francesca.angelini@sunday-times.co.uk

Sam Sprout (Editor)

Sam Sprout (Editor)

Commented 64 months ago - 11th February 2011 - 10:55am

Sub-Ed Note: TheSprout cannot be responsible for the content of external communications etc. (Safety Online and Terms & Conditions)

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