Molly Russell inquest: Instagram clips seen by teenager were 'most distressing'

2 months ago 32

Molly RussellImage source, Russell family

Image caption,

Molly Russell had opened a Twitter account that her parents only found out about after her death

An inquest has been shown footage about suicide and self-harm that 14-year-old Molly Russell viewed on Instagram before she took her own life in 2017.

The court, sitting in Barnet, was told by coroner Andrew Walker the footage was "most distressing... it is almost impossible to watch".

The clips were all liked or saved by Molly, from Harrow, north-west London.

Elizabeth Lagone, Meta's head of health and well-being, said she was unaware of research on how content affects users.

The executive from Meta, which owns Instagram, was asked about research into the impact of self-harm related content on users.

Mr Walker asked her if any internal research had been conducted.

Ms Lagone said: "I'm not aware of specific research on the impact of content. That would be very difficult research to undertake with ethical considerations."

She later added: "We are confident our policies do consider the needs of our youngest users."

Mr Walker earlier told the inquest that there had been a discussion about whether to edit the videos before they were played.

He added: "But Molly had no such choice, so we would in effect be editing the footage for adult viewing when it was available in an unedited form for a child."

On Thursday, Pinterest's head of community operations, Judson Hoffman, apologised after admitting the platform was "not safe" when the 14-year-old used it.

Mr Hoffman said he "deeply regrets" posts viewed by Molly on Pinterest before her death, saying it was material he would "not show to my children".

The inquest, due to last up to two weeks, continues.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

Elizabeth Lagone, Meta's head of health and well-being gave evidence at North London Coroners' Court

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