Molly Russell: how a teenager’s death put social media on trial | News

After 14-year-old Molly Russell died in November 2017, her father, Ian, looked for answers. He scrolled through some of the social media posts she had been subjected to in the last months of her life.

“I remember someone saying ‘who would love a suicidal girl?’ and it had a little cartoon drawing of a sad-looking girl next to it,’ he says Michael Safi.

“Each of these posts in their own way may not have done much, but what they did collectively, when you saw them on Molly’s timeline, was start to fill you with that sense of hopelessness, of unworthiness.”

At the hearing, the coroner’s verdict was that “Molly Rose Russell died from an act of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content”. Dan MilmoThe Guardian’s global technology editor, reports on the evidence presented at the inquiry and what campaigners think needs to be done to make social media safer for children.

Molly Russell

Photo: Family distribution/PA

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