Coroner blasts social media giants after posts encouraged teen to end life

A CORONER today begged social media giants toget a moral compassafter disturbing posts encouraged a teen girl to end her life.

Molly Russell, 14, trawled theghetto of the online worldin the months leading to her death at home in Harrow, North West London, in November 2017.

Molly Russell ended her life in 2017

Molly Russell ended her life in 2017Krediet: PA

Van die 16,300 posts the teen saved, shared or liked on Instagram, 2,100 were depression, self-harm or suicide-related.

Chillend, Instagram and Pinterest recommended posts that her family arguepromoted” selfmoord.

Some emails from the latter social media giant included headings such as “10 depression pins you might like” and “new ideas for you in depression”.

Tragies, Molly had reached out to celebrities for help with her depression unaware there was little prospect of reply, the inquest was told.

Senior coroner Andrew Walker has now ruled the disturbing content wasnot safe” en “shouldn’t have been available for a child to see”.

He said Molly died from an act of self-harm while suffering fromdepression and the negative effects of online content”.

The coroner also told the hearing she was at atransition period” toe sy was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness”.

He had previously voiced concerns about platformssaying the opportunity to make social media safe must notslip away”.

In his conclusions, Mr Walker said: “In sommige gevalle, the content was particularly graphic, tending to portray self-harm and suicide as an inevitable consequence of a condition that could not be recovered from.

The sites normalised her condition focusing on a limited and irrational view without any counterbalance of normality.

It is likely that the above material viewed by Molly, already suffering with a depressive illness and vulnerable due to her age, affected her mental health in a negative way and contributed to her death in a more than minimal way.

Molly Rose Russell died from an act of self-harm whist suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content.

The conclusion has finally ended Molly’s family’s five-year wait for answers.

Molly’s family launched a campaign for better internet safety following the teen’s death.

Her dad Ian Russell branded the content Molly was exposed to ashideousand said the steps taken by social media companies wasnot enough”.

Hy het bygevoeg: “I believe social media helped kill my daughter.

Speaking outside North London Coroner’s Court after the coroner’s conclusion, hy het gesê: “In the last week we’ve heard much about one tragic storyMolly’s story.

“Ongelukkig, there are too many others similarly affected right now. At this point I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope, and if you’re struggling please speak to someone you trust or one of the many wonderful support organisations, rather than engage with online content that may be harmful.

Please do what you can to live long and stay strong. I’ll give a fuller statement at the church hall when I’ve had time to collect my thoughts and I will be joined by others who would like to say more about online safety.

“Vir nou, thanks for your support and reporting this story so sensitively. I hope this will be an important step in bringing about change.

Jy is nie alleen nie

ELKE 90 minute in die Verenigde Koninkryk gaan 'n lewe deur selfmoord verlore.

Dit diskrimineer nie, die lewens van mense in elke uithoek van die samelewing raak – van haweloses en werkloses tot bouers en dokters, werklikheidsterre en sokkerspelers.

Dit is die grootste moordenaar van mense onder die ouderdom van 35, dodeliker as kanker en motorongelukke.

En mans is drie keer meer geneig om hul eie lewe te neem as vroue.

Tog word daar selde van gepraat, 'n taboe wat dreig om voort te gaan met sy dodelike rampokkery, tensy ons almal stop en kennis neem, nou.

Dit is hoekom The Sun het die You’re Not Alone-veldtog van stapel gestuur.

Die doel is om praktiese advies te deel, bewusmaking en afbreek van die hindernisse wat mense in die gesig staar wanneer hulle oor hul geestesgesondheid praat, ons kan almal ons bes doen om lewens te help red.

Laat ons almal belowe om hulp te vra wanneer ons dit nodig het, en luister uit vir ander… Jy is nie alleen nie.

As jy, of iemand wat jy ken, het hulp nodig om geestesgesondheidsprobleme te hanteer, die volgende organisasies bied ondersteuning:

The inquest was told Molly viewed thousands of disturbing posts in the months leading up to her death.

She had created two boards on Pinterestone titledStay Strongfor more positive pins and another calledNothing to Worry About”, which featuredmuch more downbeat, negative content”.

Molly saved 469 pins to the Nothing to Worry About board and 155 pins to the Stay Strong board.

A letter written by the teen about self-harming was read out by Mr Walker.

It says: “I don’t know what is wrong with me.

I didn’t have a reason to be depressed, so what is wrong with me?”

Pinterest apologised for the content Molly viewed and told the inquest the site wasnot safewhen the schoolgirl used.

While the head of health and wellbeing at Instagram’s parent company Meta said the content wassafe” op daardie stadium.

Elizabeth Lagone said she believed it wassafe for people to be able to express themselves” aanlyn.

But a child psychiatrist told the inquest some of the shocking videos Molly viewed leading to her death kept him up at night.

Dr Navin Venugopal said: “The content is very disturbing and distressing.

It certainly affected her behaviour for weeks bearing in mind she saw this over a period of time.

These videos kept me up at night.”

Speaking after the inquest, NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless slammed Meta and Pinterest’sabject failureto protect Molly from content no child should ever see.

Sir Peter said: “Uiteindelik, Molly’s family have the answers they deserve thanks to their determination to see Meta and Pinterest questioned under oath about the part they played in their daughter and sister’s tragic death.

The ruling should send shockwaves through Silicon Valleytech companies must expect to be held to account when they put the safety of children second to commercial decisions. The magnitude of this moment for children everywhere cannot be understated.

Molly’s family will forever pay the price of Meta and Pinterest’s abject failure to protect her from content no child should see, but the Online Safety Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse this imbalance between families and Big Tech.

This must be a turning point and further delay or watering down of the legislation that addresses preventable abuse of our children would be inconceivable to parents across the UK.


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Molly's family have campaigned for better internet safety

Molly’s family have campaigned for better internet safetyKrediet: PA:Persvereniging
The teen had trawled through thousands of posts about suicide before her death

The teen had trawled through thousands of posts about suicide before her deathKrediet: PA:Persvereniging