Southland police are encouraging parents and schools to block access to social media website Ask.fm.
The warning comes after British teenager Hannah Smith, 14, hanged herself after being taunted and told to commit self harm on the website earlier this month.
Ask.fm allows users to pose questions anonymously to other users, although safety information on the website stresses this function should not be used to ask questions that are "mean or hurtful".
However, several questions posted on the profiles of some Invercargill teenagers, viewed yesterday, contained abusive or sexually explicit material.
Detective Sergeant Greg Baird, of Invercargill, said parents and schools should block the site completely, as the harm it could cause far outweighed any perceived benefits.
Police also suggested those still using Ask.fm should disable the anonymous question function to minimise the chances of bullying occurring.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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