Killer app: why do anonymous Q&A networks keep leading to suicides?

by Casey Newton


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I wrote about defunct question-and-answer social network Formspring and its more popular clone, Ask.fm. Both sites courted teens with an anonymous Q&A feature — and both have been linked to bullying and teen suicides. Why didn't Ask.fm learn from its onetime rival

Founders of tech companies pride themselves on their ability to rapidly iterate, learning from others’ mistakes and their own in the pursuit of perpetual progress. Yet in this case, one social network’s trajectory followed another’s so closely it appeared to be working from a script. Interviews with former Formspring executives, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preserve business relationships, suggest that Ask.fm should have seen it coming.