Who was Molly Russell? The story behind her death & social media negative effects Explained

who is Molly Russell

Molly Russell, 14, died as a consequence of self-harm while suffering from depression and the “negative effects of online information.” Let’s see who is Molly Russell, how did she die, what happened, and what was her cause of death.

 

Who is Molly Russell?

An inquest has decided that Molly Russell died as a result of “an act of self-harm while suffering from despair and the detrimental impacts of online information.”

The coroner, Andrew Walker, stated that he did not “believe it would be safe” to designate suicide as the cause of death, instead choosing for self-harm.

What happened to Molly Russell?

On Friday, he announced his results, saying, “Molly was in a transition period in her early life, which made certain components of communication difficult.”

He told North London Coroners Court that she was “exposed to things that may have influenced her negatively and, additionally, what had started as a depression had become a more significant mental disorder.”

He said it “sought to isolate and discourage discussion” with people who could have helped her, and instead “tended to portray self-harm and suicide as an inevitable consequence of a condition that could not be recovered from”.

He claimed it “sought to isolate and discourage communication” with individuals who could have helped her, instead portraying self-harm and suicide as an unavoidable result of an illness that could not be healed from.

 

Molly’s Cause of Death

Molly’s use of Instagram and Pinterest was the focus of the two-week inquest. Executives from both US-based organisations testified at the hearing, revealing how Molly had watched explicit information in the months leading up to her suicide in November 2017.

Walker concluded that it would not be safe to rule Molly’s death as suicide since some of the sites she visited were “not safe” because they provided access to adult content that should not have been available to a 14-year-old.

“It is likely that the aforesaid material viewed by Molly, who was already suffering from a depressive condition and susceptible owing to her age, influenced her in a bad way and led to her death in a more than minimum degree,” Walker stated at the inquest, presenting his findings of fact.

Molly “died from an act of self-harm while suffering from despair and the detrimental effects of online information,” he wrote in his conclusion.

“In the last week, we have heard much about one awful tragedy – Molly’s story,” Molly’s father, Ian Russell, 59, said outside the court. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are equally afflicted right now.

“At this point, I just want to convey that no matter how gloomy things appear, there is always hope.”

And if you’re having trouble, please talk to someone you trust or one of the many amazing support organisations before engaging with potentially hazardous online information. Please do everything you can to live a long and healthy life.”

 

How many followers he had on social media?

Molly watched over 16,000 pieces of content on Instagram in the last six months of her life, 2,100 of which were about suicide, self-harm, and sadness. The inquest also heard how she had created a Pinterest digital pinboard with 469 photographs connected to similar issues.

Elizabeth Lagone, Meta’s head of health and wellbeing policy, apologised and admitted Molly had viewed posts that breached the company’s content regulations.

A senior Pinterest executive also apologised for the platform’s display of inappropriate information and admitted that the platform was not safe at the time Molly was using it.

 

What did Navin’s child psychiatrist say?

Dr Navin Venugopal, a child psychiatrist, testified at the inquest that Molly had been “put at risk” by the content she had watched. The headteacher of Molly’s secondary school also testified, saying how it was “nearly difficult” to keep track of the threats that social media brought to students.

 

What did the Cheief Executive of NSPCC said?

“The verdict should send shock waves through Silicon Valley,” said Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, a child safety organisation. When tech corporations prioritise commercial decisions over the safety of children, they must expect to be held accountable. The significance of this moment for children worldwide cannot be emphasised.”

“The verdict should send shock waves through Silicon Valley,” said Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, a child safety organisation. When tech corporations prioritise commercial decisions over the safety of children, they must expect to be held accountable. The significance of this moment for children worldwide cannot be emphasised.”

 

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