Social media apps on a smartphone (icon image)
Photo: MiS / IMAGO
A 14-year-old British woman is said to have fatally injured herself under the influence of depression and "negative effects of online content".
That's the conclusion reached by a senior coroner at the conclusion of the investigation into the case in a London court.
This is reported by the BBC and the Guardian.
Investigations revealed that the teenager Molly Russell had viewed a number of content on social media related to suicide and self-harm before her death in November 2017.
Coroner Andrew Walker reportedly said it was "not certain" that the 14-year-old's death could be called a suicide.
"It is likely that the above material viewed by Molly, who was already suffering from depressive illness and was at risk because of her age, affected her negatively and contributed more than minimally to her death," Walker said.
The medic concluded that the girl "died of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content."
Molly had reportedly viewed more than 16,000 pieces of content on Instagram in the six months leading up to her death, 2,100 of which had to do with suicide, self-harm and depression.
The investigation also found that she had created a digital pinboard on Pinterest with 469 images on similar topics.
Instagram and Pinterest have their say
Meta, owners of Instagram and Facebook, and Pinterest have apologized.
Elizabeth Lagone, Meta's head of health and well-being, explained that Molly had viewed posts that violated the company's policies.
A Pinterest executive also apologized for showing the platform inappropriate content, saying the platform wasn't secure at the time.
Since her death, the family of the 14-year-old has been campaigning for more security on the internet.
Her father, Ian Russell, said in court there were too many others struggling with problems similar to his daughter's.
“At this point, I just want to say that no matter how dark it seems, there is always hope.
And if you're having trouble, rather than delving into potentially harmful content online, please speak to someone you trust or one of the many wonderful support organizations," he said. "Please do what you can , to live long and stay strong.«