Q&A websites

What are they?

These sites, such as Formspring and Ask, enable users to ask questions and post answers, often anonymously.

How do they work?

Users sign up for an account and create a page where questions can be asked of sites users and the answers published publicly. Many sites allow users to ask anonymous questions, although with some users can choose whether to allow or block anonymous questions.

Why are Q&A sites useful?

Q&A sites can be fun, allowing you to find out more about your friends. Approximately 100 million questions are answered on Formspring every month.

What do you need to keep in mind if your children are using Q&A sites?

The anonymous status of many of the people answering questions means that these sites can be used for abusive purposes. While sites such as Formspring require that users be at least 13 years old, and have community guidelines relating to respecting other users, that has not prevented several controversial incidents where the site has been used for cyberbullying.

Want to know more?

The best way is to test a few out - log in and create an account, and start asking questions. Check out these sites:
Formspring
Ask
Blurtit
Answerbag

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