School District 23 bans social media website

The school district has blocked access to from all its networks after students experienced cyber bullying and harassment.

School District 23 has blocked access to on all its networks after students reported cases of cyber bullying and harrassment. The social media website allows users to ask other users questions anonymously.

French philosopher Voltaire suggested we should judge a man by his questions, rather than his answers.

But what happens when men and women—or in this case, boys and girls—hide those questions behind anonymity?

From what School District 23 has observed, the answer is cyber bullying and harassment—with no punishment for the abuser.

Recently the school district blocked access to the social media website after realizing many students had set up accounts in order to send and receive messages to and from their peers.

School District 23 superintendent Hugh Gloster said the decision to ban the site was made because allows people to ask questions without revealing their identity.

“It was discovered that within our school district, as well as many other jurisdictions, there had been an increasing number of scenarios where messages had been exchanged that could really be described as nothing other than cyber bullying or harassment,” said Gloster.

“And there was no way of tracking back to find out who was (responsible).”

Gloster said several staff members made senior management at the school district aware of concerns. He also noted a few students within the district had reported issues with the website as well.

“There have been some very disturbing reports…some really nasty, ugly things being posted through this site.”

The way operates is fairly simple: Anyone who has an account can ask a question to any other user.

There are several ways those using the site can find people they may know to ask questions to.

Upon creating a username, requests users share their profile with friends to get questions directed their way.

The site also has a search function that can find individuals by username, first name, surname, e-mail, Facebook account, Twitter account or location.

Capital News used the site to search ‘Kelowna,’ which resulted in 361 user matches—most of whom appeared to be high school students.

Questions on those users’ pages ranged from inoffensive queries such as, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” to much more intrusive questions, often of a sexual nature.

According to the website’s terms of service, users of can be as young as 13. has a safety tips page, where it suggests those who are asked inappropriate questions tell a trusted adult and block the person who sent the question. There is also an option to report those who continue to send harassing queries.

But it doesn’t appear proactively seeks out those who post inappropriate content; in fact, under terms of service, the site states: The service allows for anonymous content, which does not monitor.

Gloster said the goal of School District 23 is not to block specific websites; rather, educate students to protect themselves while sharing information online.

“We know trying to block individual sites is not a long-term solution; the long-term solution is definitely the educational program and having our students be the ones who help to lead that charge.”

Although the site will be blocked on school computers in the Central Okanagan, students will still be able to access using their personal smartphones or computers at home.

The school district asks parents to become aware of their children’s online activities and ensure their kids know the importance of becoming responsible digital citizens.


Just Posted

Missed a week of news? We’ve got you covered

Every Saturday, we post popular stories from the week

Long-time Hedley fan weighs in on concert

Davis Wiggs attended Hedley’s final show last night

Kelowna couple hoping for a miracle

Endang Suslash is hoping to stay in Canada so she continue receiving treatment for kidney failure

Highway potholes under ministry jurisdiction

The District of Lake Country doesn’t touch the highway when it comes to filling potholes

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in Kelowna before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Prospera Place

Bottle drive held for Kelowna fire victim’s family

Springfield Elementary held a bottle drive today to support the Van Gool family

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Snowfall warning for Highway 3

Kelowna - A snowfall warning is in effect from Paulson Summit to Kootenay Pass

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read