Molly Russell’s cause of death ruled a suicide as a result of social media

Molly Russell's cause of death ruled a suicide as a result of social media
Written by admin

A London coroner ruled the death of a 14-year-old girl in 2017 a suicide as a result of damaging social media posts.

The ruling came on Friday at the conclusion of an investigation, or judicial inquiry, into the death of Molly Russell five years ago, according to The Molly Rose Foundation (MRF) established in memory of the 14-year-old to prevent suicide among minors. of 25.

Coroner Andrew Walker of the Northern District of Greater London said her death was “an act of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content”.

Walker said the online material Molly viewed on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest was “not secure” and “should not have been available for a child to view.”

The ruling was the first of its kind to place blame directly for the official death of a child on social media instead of simply correlating the two.

“The investigation has shown very clearly the significant dangers of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest present in the absence of effective regulation,” MRF said in a statement on Friday. “This shows that if the government and tech platforms take action on the issues raised in the research, they will have a positive effect on the mental well-being of young people, which is the key goal of the Molly Rose Foundation.

Molly Russell father Ian
Molly Russell’s father, Ian Russel, said “there is always hope”.
Molly Rose Foundation

“For social media, the era of the Wild West is over.”

in response to the decision, Molly’s father Ian Russellsaid on Friday “there is always hope” no matter what “dark it seems.”

“[I]If you’re struggling please speak with someone you trust or one of the many supporting organizations, rather than engaging with content online that may be harmful,” he said, according to MRF.

“Thank you, Molly, for being my daughter. Thank you,” Russell added. “We shouldn’t be sitting here. This shouldn’t happen because it doesn’t have to. We told this story in the hope that change would come.”

Asswoman for Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said in a statement after the conclusion that the company is “committed to ensuring that Instagram is a positive experience for everyone, particularly teens” and that it would “carefully consider the full report.” of the coroner.” ”

Pinterest apologized for content that promoted Molly via email, including “10 depression pins you might like” and “depression recovery, depressed girl and more pins trending on Pinterest,” according to the BBC.

“Ultimately, it’s about online safety,” MRF said of the conclusion of the investigation into the 14-year-old’s death.

The ruling attracted national and international attention. Even Prince William issued a statement about it.

“No parent should have to put up with what Ian Russell and his family have been through,” William tweeted from the official account of the Prince and Princess of Wales. “They have been so incredibly brave. Online safety for our children and youth should be a prerequisite, not an afterthought.”

Social media and video-sharing platforms contain content depicting suicidal ideation, self-harm material and general reflections on depression, according to the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). A teen can view such content in addition to more conventional material with videos and images of their peers, as well as influencers and models, which can prompt young users to make inaccurate comparisons between themselves and the material they see online. .

“The ruling should send shockwaves through Silicon Valley: Tech companies should be held accountable when they put child safety ahead of business decisions. The magnitude of this moment for children around the world cannot be underestimated,” NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless said in a statement. “Molly’s family will always pay the price for Meta and Pinterest’s abject failure to protect them from content no child should ever see, but the online safety bill is a unique opportunity to reverse this imbalance between families and big tech. ”.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis and you live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside of the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to Suicide

About the author


Leave a Comment