Pinterest says’sorry’ after viewing suicide stuff

Pinterest says’sorry’ after viewing suicide stuff


As her mourning family sat in court, a social media executive expressed regret that Molly Russell was able to view content about self-harm and suicide on their site.

Molly Russell, from Harrow, northwest London, researched disturbing content online before taking her own life in November 2017

Molly Russell, from Harrow, northwest London, researched disturbing content online before taking her own life in November 2017


Before committing himself in November 2017, the 14-year-old from Harrow, northwest London, explored unsettling stuff on the Internet. Today, her father, Ian, testified during her inquest, “I feel social media contributed to my daughter’s death.”

This morning, Judson Hoffman, the head of community operations at Pinterest, was questioned about the type of content Molly encountered on the platform.

The North London Coroners’ Court was shown two streams of video the youngster viewed, comparing the stuff she viewed earlier in her use of the site with the material she viewed in the months leading up to her death.

While the earlier stream of content was comprised of a wide variety of topics, the later stream was mostly concerned with despair, self-harm, and suicide.

Before taking her own life in November 2017, Molly Russell of Harrow, northwest London, investigated alarming stuff online.

Oliver Sanders KC, the attorney for Molly’s family, asked Mr. Hoffman if he agreed that the type of information has changed. Mr. Hoffman responded, “Yes, and it’s essential to highlight, and I regret that she had access to some of the content shown.”

According to evidence presented at the inquest, Pinterest sent her emails with subject lines such as ’10 depression pins you might enjoy’ and ‘depression recovery, depressed girl, and other trendy pins on Pinterest’

Mr. Sanders questioned whether Mr. Hoffman believed the photographs contained in the e-mails were “safe for children to view.”

Mr. Hoffman responded, “Therefore, I wish to exercise caution in light of the guidance we have observed. This is the type of material with which we do not want people to spend a great deal of time.’

Mr. Sanders stated that the subject would be “very difficult… to comprehend” for children, to which Mr. Hoffman responded, “Yes.”

The attorney inquired, “You’ve expressed remorse; are you sorry it occurred?”

Today her father, Ian, told her inquest: 'I believe that social media helped kill my daughter'

Today her father, Ian, told her inquest: 'I believe that social media helped kill my daughter'

Mr. Hoffman responded, “I’m sorry it occurred.”

Molly used an anonymous Twitter account to reach out to celebrities and influencers for assistance, according to testimony during the inquest.

She wrote tweets to J.K. Rowling, American actress Lili Reinhart, and YouTuber Salice Rose, one of which stated, “I can’t do it anymore.”

Today, her father, Ian, testified during her inquest, “I feel social media contributed to my daughter’s death.”

Today, Ian Russell was led through the posts from the witness stand, where he stated, “I feel social media contributed to the death of my daughter.”

He stated that the messages addressed to prominent persons were “very frequent on Twitter.”

Mr. Russell told the North London Coroner’s Court that a 14-year-old would have confused harmful and “typical” online content.

Oliver Sanders KC inquired about his thoughts on the impact of Molly’s access to ‘harmless’ content on social media platforms, such as fashion and pop music-related posts.

Mr. Russell told the coroner that “digital technology can be great,” but that the distinction between the two forms of entertainment would be “extremely blurry” for his daughter.

Molly’s tweet to Ms. Reinhart, which was read in court today, stated, “I can’t take it anymore.”

In his testimony today, Mr. Russell stated, “I feel social media contributed to the death of my daughter.”

Too much of that content is still present, and there is a lack of openness, in my opinion.

Children should not use a site that puts their lives at risk.

Mr. Russell was shown celebrity tweets by his daughter, who said, “I just can’t handle it.”

Molly’s tweet to Ms. Reinhart, which was read in court today, stated, “I can’t take it anymore.”

I need to reach out to someone, I can’t handle it any longer.

Mr. Russell stated, “This particular style of communication… was quite frequent on Twitter.

On Twitter, Molly reached out to celebs with thousands or millions of followers who wouldn’t even notice a single tweet from someone like herself.

She was never likely to receive an answer.

Other tweets intended towards the YouTuber Ms. Rose stated, “I can’t do it any longer.” I give up.’

Another responded, “I don’t belong in this world.” Everyone will do better without me.

The court was informed that these tweets were sent some months prior to the teen’s death.

Mr. Russell stated that the schoolgirl appeared to have returned to her normal self soon before she passed away.

The 59-year-old stated that his daughter appeared ‘enthusiastic’ about the future and that he believed her ‘passing phase’ had ended two months prior to her passing.

The investigation, which might last up to two weeks, continues.

For free, confidential assistance, call 116 123 or visit the Samaritans’ website.


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