Aug 15 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron has written to the father of a teenage girl whose suicide was linked to the controversial website Ask.fm.
Mr Cameron sent the personal letter to David Smith after his 14-year-old daughter Hannah was found hanged two weeks ago.
She had allegedly been bullied on the website but it has also been reported she sent herself the majority of the abusive messages. The Prime Minister insisted legislation exists to deal with online trolls, the Daily Mirror reported.
Mr Cameron said he was grateful "as a parent" to David Smith for highlighting the problem of bullying on social sites - Mr Smith, 45, a trucker from Lutterworth, Leicestershire, had accused the Conservative Party leader of "doing nothing" to stop youngsters falling victim to trolls.
The newspaper reported that Mr Cameron wrote: "I want to reassure you that the Government takes this issue very seriously. There is already legislation in this area.
"Bullies mistakenly believe that because the abuse they inflict is happening online, it is beyond the reach of the law. I am very clear that it is not and the police should investigate it as they would any other crime."
It was reported that the Government is giving teachers powers to search for and delete images and files on children's mobile phones. Mr Cameron also reportedly told Mr Smith that MPs were "working with industry" so parents can "install internet filters for devices in the home".
Mr Smith said: "We need the law to change so sites can't operate if they don't have correct measures in place."
Bosses at Ask.fm - set up for users to ask each other questions - have pledged previously to help Leicestershire Police over Hannah's death. Mark and Ilja Terebin, bosses of the Latvia-based website, said it has the technology to identify ''almost all users'' and that they are committed to supporting the investigation.
Specsavers, Vodafone, Laura Ashley, EDF Energy and charity Save the Children all pulled adverts from Ask.fm in the aftermath of the schoolgirl's death.