Dear Mr Cameron and Ms Perry,
On the night of Tuesday 17th September 2013, 14-year-old Devon schoolgirl, Izzy Dix, tragically took her own life. Her death has been linked to bullying, at school, in the community and online. Some of the bullying that Izzy was so troubled over in the months before her death occurred on social media site, Ask.fm.
This petition supports the following:
1. We want this website closed down. It gives cyberbullies a platform, as it allows them to post hurtful comments and remain anonymous.
2. At the very least, we need to permanently disable the ability to remain anonymous on this site, as this is the aspect which is causing the most damage.
3. The government also needs to bring in new regulations/legislation/restrictions that will keep people, and young people in particular, safe on the Internet.
4. We need watertight procedures making social networking sites accountable for revealing the identities of trolls and cyberbullies to the authorities, so cyberbullying can easily be stopped in its tracks.
5. We want police forces to make a firm commitment to treat bullying seriously.
6. We need an increase in education programmes for schools and community groups so that we can teach the power of love and kindness.
7. We need an increase in support programmes for both victims and bullies.
8. We need the government to provide/increase funding for research on issues such as bullying, cyberbullying and teen suicide.
9. We need increased parental awareness, responsibility and support on the subject of bullying and the use of the Internet by children.
10. We need the government to help us put pressure on the large search engines to include suicide search terms in the list of search terms that come back with a clean return, instead offering help and advice information for the searcher.
11. We need individuals from all walks of life to embrace love, kindness, compassion, empathy and respect. Bullying the bullies is not a solution – it will only make the problem worse and perpetuate the cycle – teaching the value of love is the most effective long-term solution.
Ask.fm has been linked to the suicides of sixteen young people since September 2012. This needs to stop now, before this list gets any longer.
Ciara Pugsley, aged 15, County Leitrim, Ireland, 29th September, 2012
Erin Gallagher, aged 13, County Donegal, Ireland, 27th October, 2012
Jessica Laney, aged 16, Florida, US, 11th December, 2012
Shannon Gallagher (Erin's sister), aged 15, County Donegal, Ireland, 12th December, 2012
Anthony Stubbs, aged 16, Lancashire, England, January, 2013
Joshua Unsworth, aged 15, Lancashire, England, 7th April, 2013
Daniel Perry, aged 17, Fife, Scotland, 15th July, 2013
Hannah Smith, aged 14, Leicestershire, England, 2nd August, 2013
Rebecca Sedwick, aged 12, Florida, US, 10th September, 2013
Katherine-Christine Buckley, aged 15, Queensland, Australia, 14th September, 2013
Izzy Dix, aged 14, Devon, England, 17th September, 2013
Olivia Mae Scott, aged 16, Vermont, US, 9th October, 2013
Savy Turcotte, aged 13, Saskatchewan, Canada, 22nd October, 2013
Matthew Homyk, aged 14, Cleveland, US, 10th January, 2014
Nadia, aged 14, Veneto, Italy, 9th February, 2014
Aurora Cerullo, aged 14, Venaria, Italy, 14th April, 2014
This needs to stop now, before this list gets any longer.