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Molly Russell: Coroner blames Meta, Pinterest for teen’s death

A UK coroner’s court found Meta, Pinterest, and other social media platforms culpable in the death of Molly Russell, a 14-year-old model.

Russell had died from self-harm back in November 2017. However, her family pursued the case in the hope that it would raise awareness of the danger of social media to young people.

The case is not a civil or criminal suit, which means that the guilty companies are not expected to pay for damages or anything of that sort. Although, their name appearing in the cause of death document could be damning and we are not sure if their names were mentioned.

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According to a Mashable report, Russell’s father had found some disturbing content on his late daughter’s phone two weeks after she passed. One of the content was an email that read “Depression Pins you may like” from Pinterest and several suicide related content saved to her Instagram account. She had joined Instagram two years before, with her parent’s permission.

When the issue went public in 2019, the family’s legal team found about 2,100 posts relating to self-harm and depression among the pages that Meta provided from Russell’s Instagram account.

Both Meta and Pinterest representatives appeared in court during the trial and offered apologies to the family of Molly Russell. Elizabeth Lagone, Meta’s head of health and well-being policy, explained that the company allowed self-harm content because it could be expressing oneself or a cry for help.

The trial had been emotionally trying for neutral parties like the jury and a child psychologist. One can only imagine what it was like for Russell’s family.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.