Hannah Smith was found hanged after receiving abuse on Ask.fm (Facebook)
Hannah Smith was found hanged after receiving abuse on Ask.fm (Facebook)

Ask.fm has claimed that a teenager who killed herself after receiving abuse on the site sent most of the messages herself.

Hannah Smith, 14, was found hanged at her home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, after frequently receiving abusive messages on Ask.fm. The website allows users to ask questions and send messages to each other anonymously.

The social networking site has now claimed the teenager wrote most of the abusive messages and posted them to herself.

A source at the website is reported to have said during a meeting: "With the Hannah case, the company have looked at every identity - the [computer] IP addresses are trackable. She posted the anonymous things herself. The police has all that data."

The company claimed that "98%" of the abusive messages had come from the same IP address as Hannah's, with only about four posts originating from different addresses.

Hannah's father David Smith, 45, described the allegations against his daughter as "disgusting".

He said: "Hannah was a 14-year-old girl who was being bullied and she took her own life. Ask.fm is trying to cover its own back by discrediting Hannah."

The website has already been widely criticised for its handling of the case, with many people claiming they are not doing enough to tackle online abuse.

Companies such as Vodafone, eBay and Save the Children have all withdrawn their advertising from the website over concerns about cyberbullying.

Smith added it does not matter if his daughter wrote some of the messages herself.

He said: "Whether she wrote some of it herself doesn't make any difference. A 14-year-old girl has taken her own life because she was being bullied on the internet.

"If Hannah did do some of it herself, then it just shows how desperate she was."

Prison sentences won't bring Hannah back

Elsewhere, a 16-year-old boy from Belgium has admitted he sent Hannah abusive messages on Ask.fm and admitted "I might go to jail".

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made the confession by a mobile messaging app Kik.

In a conversation seen by the Sunday Mirror, the 16-year-old wrote: "I'm really scared I don't know what to do.

"The day before she died I was sending her a load of abuse get cancer kill yourself e.t.c I didn't think it would go this far."

Hannah's father said it would be a "pointless exercise" to send anyone who sent his daughter abuse to prison.

He said: "I would just like to see the people who bullied Hannah and ask them 'Why?' I want them to say sorry and to see the pain they have caused.

"If they came and apologised I would still want justice and see them arrested but I don't want to see them go to prison. That won't bring Hannah back."

The founders of Ask.fm, Mark and Ilja Terebin, published an open letter in response to the criticism surrounding their website.

It said: "The vast majority of our users are very happy teenagers, who use Ask.fm to converse with their peers around the world about the things that interest them.

"Bullying is an age-old problem that we in no way condone - and while its evolution online is disturbing, it certainly is not unique to our site."