FACEBOOK has defended its ties with website ask.fm which was linked to the suicides of two teenagers.
Schoolgirls Ciara Pugsley, 15, and Erin Gallagher, 13, took their lives after being subjected to abuse on ask.fm.
The Latvian-based site allows users to post anonymously on each other’s pages.
It can also be used as an application which can be accessed through Facebook.
Privacy and public policy officer at Facebook, Patricia Cartes, said: “If you engage with the ask.fm application on Facebook, our real name policy is automatically applied.
“You can’t use ask.fm anonymously with Facebook.
“The information you are sharing through the app is tied to your name. If you answer a question on the application and the story is then published in my timeline or her timeline, our reporting mechanisms are automatically applied to that news story.
“But users are still open to being taunted by anonymous bullies who log on to the site as normal through ask.fm itself.”
Facebook’s UK and Ireland director of policy Simon Milner said: “We didn’t consider removing the app on the grounds that it didn’t break our terms.
“If we had removed that link we’d have left some of our users in a less safe place than they were previously.”
But Mr Milner added: “We certainly don’t condone the environment that ask.fm is.
“It’s not ideal and we’d all much prefer that our teenagers didn’t take risks but they do.