Ask.fm App Poster Image

Ask.fm

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Unmonitored social app with lots of objectionable content.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app integrates with Facebook and Twitter to build a social network, but users can ask questions of strangers (and have them ask questions about you). 

Violence

Some users take advantage of the service's anonymity to post hate speech and threats. While these are largely empty, they can still be quite vivid and disturbing. 

Sex

It's very easy to find profiles that have images with graphic nudity. 

Language

Some users use profanity in their answers, including words like f--k and s--t.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some users tout their enjoyment of alcohol or recreational drugs. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ask.fm is an app companion to the popular website. Users ask questions and answer questions posted by other users. The site doesn't monitor content, which opens the door for content that's inappropriate -- and that's very, very easy to find on the site. There are also concerns about bullying. Users can, however, report questions or answers that are violent, pornographic, or contain hate speech. (Profiles, at present, cannot be reported, though. (We found one user who appeared to have posted nude pictures of a minor, and even direct contact with the app maker's support team took several days for it to be removed.) As with many social apps, some users keep things friendly and clean, while others post more offensive content. 

What kids can learn

What Kids Can Learn

Ask.fm wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Ask.fm wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

Parents say

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What's it about?

User interactions are based entirely on questions and answers. Create a profile, then ask a question or find questions other users have posted on their pages. You can follow the stream of questions as they're posted, view the most popular questions, and find friends through searching the app (which ties in with the site) or syncing with Facebook and Twitter.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

While the concept of ask.fm -- encouraging people to learn more about their friends and foster a curiosity in others -- is a good one, not all users embrace that line of thinking. The app is unmoderated, which makes it a Wild West-like environment. Within five minutes, we encountered hate speech, obscenities, people singing the praises of illegal drugs, and graphic nudity (with many sexual references). There's also bullying in some answers, though users can report questions and answers they find objectionable. 

It's worth noting, though, that there does not appear to be a way to report users directly. That was particularly disturbing when we found one whose screen name and avatar image seemed to promote child pornography. While the app does not have a reporting mechanism for this, we reported it to company officials -- who still did not remove the profile for several days and said they would not alert law enforcement authorities about the user. This is not an app kids should be allowed near. 

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to your teens about cyberbullying and how anonymity can encourage bad behavior. Do you act differently online when your real identity isn't revealed?
  • Review our Social Networking Tips and set guidelines for what's OK to post online and what's off limits.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:October 12, 2013
Category:Social Networking
Size:11.90 MB
Version:1.1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Ask.fm was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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