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Operations Management: Ask.fm

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Misbah Khan

on 19 November 2014

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Transcript of Operations Management: Ask.fm

Latvia based limited liability company
Registered on June 2010
Offers a Q&A service
Creates a profile for users to ask anonymous questions
Target demographic: Teenagers
Users must be at least 13 years of age to sign up
80+ million users in over 150 countries
Competitors = Formspring
Operations Management: Ask.fm
Site users, adolescents, parents, families
Advertising companies (Save the Children, Vodafone, Laura Ashley)
Other related and social media networks it is linked to (i.e. Facebook)
Possible Resolutions
- Aristotle - Kant

- Dan Ariely

- Morality statement/reminder before someone submits an anonymous question

Operations Management
An area of management that oversees activities concerned with the process of producing goods and services.

The Company: Ask.fm
Ethical Frameworks
Aristotle's Virtue Ethics
Ask.fm core values: curiosity, anonymity, safety, respect, togetherness
Blind Spots
The Ethical Issue
Forms a platform that fosters cyber-bullying, sexual conversation, and hits to self-esteem
Targets preteens and teenagers
At least 11 teenaged suicides linked to the website due to online bullying
Most recent suicide February 2014
Ask.fm claims no responsibility according to its Terms of Use page
Biggest issue is demographics
Socheata Huy, Chauncey Wang, Misbah Khan, Daniel Sun, Jacqueline Wong
Pre-scandal: Ask.fm Operations Management
Provides a service to exercise freedom of speech
Allows anonymity in questions
Does not monitor everything that is posted
Motivated blindness
Too focused on making profits
Ethical fading
Business decision
Indirect blindness
Overlooks the unethical conduct of others
OM: Service Functions
Efficiency, effectiveness, quality, cost
Developing, Managing, Creating
Service businesses must strive to provide a standardized process
Hiring good employees
Developing flexible systems
Customizing services
Maintaining the company due to demand
Ask.fm CEO: Ilja Terebin
"...to create a place where young people could ask each other the questions that are shaping their world, and share the thoughts, ideas and feelings these questions inspire."
Suicide of Hannah Smith
British 14-year old committed suicide in August 2013 after anonymous users posted threatening and cruel messages on her account.
Her father, David Smith, says the website's safety changes "do not go far enough."
Prime Minister David Cameron issued an apology to Hannah's family.
Ask.fm offered no comment or apology, but did make changes to safety policy
Kant and Deontology
The company has certain duties and rights despite consequences
Each person has individual rights that needs to be respected and recognized
Ask.fm's OM Post-scandal
Installed Block button and Report button
Hired a Safety Expert
Automatic filters to block curse words
Partnered with Internet Watch Foundation (February 2014) and Insafe (October 2013)
Full transcript