The key moments in the history of ask.fm

Ask.fm app

Ask.fm was launched in 2010 with the aim to "create a place where young people could ask each other the questions that are shaping their world".

But the social network, which allows users to stay anonymous, has faced criticism for its response to bullying.

It has been linked to several teen suicides and anti-bullying groups say it still has a problem.

The site has rejected these claims in an exclusive interview with Newsbeat.

Here's a brief history of the site.

INTERACTIVE
  • June 2010

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    Ask.fm is set up by brothers Ilja and Mark Terebin as a rival to question and answer based social network Formspring.

  • December 2011

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    Privacy settings introduced to Ask.fm, including the option to disable anonymous questions.

  • September 2013

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    Ciara Pugsley, 15, is found dead in woodland near her home in County Leitrim, Ireland. This was the first of several teen suicides linked to abuse via ask fm.

  • August 2013

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    Hannah Smith, 14, is found hanged at her home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. It is believed she killed herself after she was bullied on the site.

  • August 2013

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    Prime Minister David Cameron urges people to boycott sites which do not 'step up to the plate' and tackle online abuse. He said that after the 'absolutely tragic' death of Hannah Smith, those running the websites had to 'clean up their act'.

  • 19 August 2013

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    Changes made to make Ask.fm safer in the wake of online bullying cases. It said it would view all reports within 24 hours, make the report button more visible, and include bullying and harassment as a category for a report.

  • September 2013

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    In the 2013 Annual Cyberbullying Survey by charity Ditch the Label, Ask.fm is named as one of the three most likely places teenagers experience cyberbullying, alongside Facebook and Twitter.

  • February 2014

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    Ask.fm launches a 'Safety Center' containing advice and guidance for users of the site and their parents.

More recently...

In August, 14-year-old Hannah Smith was found hanged at her home in Leicestershire and police in Fife investigated claims that 17-year-old Daniel Perry killed himself because he was being blackmailed on the internet.

At the time abusive comments seen on ask.fm were said to have been a contributing factor to their deaths.

David Cameron
David Cameron criticised sites like Ask.fm after a series of deaths linked to abuse received on the site

That month, Prime Minister David Cameron urged people to boycott sites which did not "step up to the plate" and tackle online abuse and said those running the websites had to "clean up their act".

Shortly afterwards, The Sun newspaper, EDF, BT and optical retailer Specsavers, among other companies, distanced themselves from ask.fm.

Vodafone, Specsavers, Save the Children and Laura Ashley also went on to withdraw their adverts form the site.

Hannah Smith
Hannah Smith's family linked her death to ask.fm

Earlier this month, an inquest into the death of Hannah Smith heard that she probably posted abusive messages about herself on ask.fm.

Leicester coroner Catherine Mason recorded a verdict of suicide.

She told the court: "The evidence I have was that on the balance of probabilities they would all have been at Hannah's own hand. Why she did it, I don't know."

Newsbeat will be broadcasting two live programmes from ask.fm's headquarters in Latvia at 1245 and 1745 on Thursday.

Follow @BBCNewsbeat on Twitter and Radio1Newsbeat on YouTube