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CEO of and Doug Leeds
CEO of and Doug Leeds
Image: Oakland Digital via Youtube

New CEO of commits to making the site safer for users

Speaking this morning, Doug Leeds specified a number of areas the site will be focusing on improving security in.
Nov 5th 2014, 1:47 PM 5,970 11

THE NEW BOSS of has outlined his commitment to making the site safer from cyberbullying.

In an interview on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme, CEO of (which operates Doug Leeds responded to criticism that the site has been facing over cyberbulling.

New measures  

In the interview, Leeds distanced his vision for the website from that of its Latvian founders, and outlined a number of new safety procedures that would be put in place to stop cyberbullying.

We’ve done several things, and we are going to continue to do more. It is a process and we are going to continue it.

“We don’t share the vision [the original owners] had for what we feel the site could be. They felt there was much more of a sort of libertarian, laissez faire approach to safety, and we felt we had a much deeper responsibility to users on the site,” said Leeds.

During the interview Leeds stated that his organisation had met with the IDA, who are responsible for facilitating foreign direct investment into Ireland.

In response to a query from, the IDA said: is not an IDA client. We have met with their parent company IAC, who control and many other leading internet sites.
IDA Ireland meet with thousands of company every year as part of our mission to attract business into Ireland.

Other new measures Leeds specified were that the company had hired teen-safety experts in both the UK and US, that there would be a higher level of moderation on comments left on the site, and that members would be able to block other users from commenting on their profiles.

While commenting will remain anonymous – Leeds said that the administrators of the site would know individual’s identities. was bought out three months ago by – which is currently headquartered in Dublin. Operations will be moved over from Latvia.


The website, which allows users to post questions anonymously to other user’s profiles, has come under criticism for facilitating online bullying.

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Yesterday, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, expressed concerns over the website relocating to Ireland.

Last year the site was linked to the deaths of Leitrim teenager Ciara Pugsley, 15, and Donegal schoolgirl Erin Gallagher, 13.

Also speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme this morning, Jonathan Pugsley, father of Ciara Pugsley, expressed concerns about that despite reforms the sites anonymous feature would remain in place.

“It doesn’t address my main issue and my main concern which I think a lot of people would be concerned about and that is actually giving people the ability to post texts or messages anonymously,” said Pugsley.

Read: is moving its HQ to Ireland

Also: Fitzgerald concerned about difficulty of regulating cyberbullying sites

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Michael Sheils McNamee


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