The focus of Molly Russell’s inquest will be on technology.
The inquest into the death of adolescent Molly Russell is scheduled to start soon, nearly five years after she commit suicide. The focus of Molly Russell’s inquest on technology. After viewing content on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest regarding self-harm, suicide, and sadness, 14-year-old Molly committed suicide in 2017.
It might be a turning point, according to her father, Ian, a proponent of online safety. Mr. Russell, who is from Harrow in north-west London, thinks Molly’s death was cause by her prolonged exposure to hazardous substances. Molly’s tale gave additional momentum to proposed laws to control so-called large tech firms. The third reading of the Commons is upcoming for the Online Safety Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament.
The inquest, which is scheduled to last two weeks, will have official participation from Meta, the owner of Instagram, and Pinterest. Executives from both firms will testify at the hearing after the coroner ordered them to do so.
These include studies conducted by the corporation examining how the platform affects young people’s mental health.
“Pretty terrible” content
Molly used her Instagram account up to 120 times a day in the last six months of her life, liking more than 11,000 pieces of content. Andrew Walker, the coroner, has already been inform that some of the material is “quite horrible” and challenging for adults to view for long periods of time. The chief executive of Papyrus, a group that tries to prevent young people from taking their own lives, Ged Flynn, called Mr. Russell’s initiative to save more lives “an enormously significant addition to the agenda of suicide prevention in this nation.”
Some people think that the inquest could end up being a “watershed event.” “Molly’s death is a tragedy that is all too familiar to all parents who worry about the hazards their children encounter online,” said Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at the NSPCC. We will witness big tech executives being question under oath for the first time about how their products may have led to a child’s death. “Our heartfelt sympathies still go out to Molly’s family,” a Meta representative told the BBC. We never permit material that encourages or glorifies self-harm and suicide.
“Combating self-harm is a priority for us as we work to ensure that Pinterest plays a positive part in people’s lives,” Pinterest said in a statement to BBC News. But according to Matthew Bergman, an attorney with the Social Media Victims Law Centre in Seattle, Canada and the United States will be keenly following the proceedings.