Molly Russell: inquest hears’ from teen’s dad!

Full details about Molly Russell: inquest hears’ from teen’s dadIt’s today’s topicUK,News

Molly Russell took her own life in November 2017, prompting her family to campaign for better online safety

The investigation Thursday heard how Molly used an anonymous Twitter account to reach celebrities and influencers for help.

The 14-year-old sent tweets to American actress Lili Reinhart and YouTube star Salice Rose, with one saying, “I can’t do that anymore.”

Five years after Molly’s death, an investigation is now underway.

Molly Russell’s family’s five-year wait for answers is set to end as an investigation will finally look into whether algorithms used by social media companies to keep users addicted contributed to her death.

What did Ian Russell say to the investigation?

Molly’s father, Ian Russell, was relayed via leaflets from the Witness Fund on Thursday.

He said messages sent to prominent figures were “particularly prevalent on Twitter”.

Russell told Coroner’s North London court that harmful and “normal” content on the internet could have been “mixed” in the mind of a 14-year-old.

He was asked about his thoughts on the impact of Molly’s access to “harmless” content on social media platforms, such as posts about fashion and pop music, by family attorney Oliver Sanders KC.

Russell told the inquiry that “digital technology can be great”, but that the difference between the two types of content “would be pretty blurred” for his daughter.

Presenting the evidence, Russell said: “I believe social media helped kill my daughter.

“I think a lot of that content is still out there and I think there is a lack of transparency.

“Children should not be on a platform that is dangerous to their lives.”

What did he say about the tweets sent to celebrities?

Mr Russell was relayed via tweets to the celebrity where his daughter said she “couldn’t stand it”.

One of the tweets, sent by Molly to Ms Reinhart, which was read by the court on Thursday, said: “I can’t stand it anymore.

“I need to connect with someone, I can’t stand it.”

Russell said, “It’s exactly that kind of message… that was particularly prevalent on Twitter.

On Twitter… I reached out to celebrities with thousands or millions of followers who didn’t even notice a single small tweet from someone like Molly.

“You really wouldn’t have received a response.”

Other tweets, directed at YouTuber Ms. Rose, wrote, “I can’t do that anymore. I give up.”

Another said, “I’m not fit for this world. Everyone is better off without me.”

The investigation was told that these tweets were sent a few months before the teen’s death.

Mr. Russell said the pupil appeared to be “back to normal” shortly before her death.

The 59-year-old said his daughter seemed “excited” about things to come and that in the two months leading up to her death he thought “the phase she’s in has passed”.

What did Pinterest say?

Judson Hoffman, the company’s head of community operations, admitted that emails sent to the teen like “10 depression pins you might like” were “the kind of content we don’t like anyone spending a lot of time with.”

While providing evidence on Thursday, Hoffman snapped a slew of “disturbing” photos that Molly has interacted with on the site regarding self-harm, suicide and depression.

Pinterest describes itself as a “visual discovery engine for finding ideas”, where users can save “pins” they see to their “boards” – said in court to be akin to creating a collage.

The court was shown two sets of content the 14-year-old had seen, comparing material she had seen earlier while using the platform and in the months near her death.

While the previous content included a variety of material, the latter focused on depression, self-harm, and suicide.

In response to a question from Oliver Sanders K.S. Hoffman, the attorney representing Molly’s family, if he agreed that the type of content had changed, said: “I do and it is important to point out that I am deeply sorry that she had access to some of the content on display.”

Sanders asked, “Are you sorry that happened?”

Mr. Hoffman replied, “I’m sorry that happened.”

The chief executive said the technology available to the company now “wasn’t available to us” before Molly’s death.

The court heard that Pinterest sent other emails to Molly with titles such as “Recovering from Depression, Depressed Girl and More Pins trending on Pinterest” and “New ideas for you if you are depressed.”

Sanders asked Mr. Hoffman if he thought the images in the company’s emails were “safe for children to see.”

He replied, “I want to be careful here because of the conversion we’ve seen.

“I’d say that’s the kind of content we don’t want anyone to spend too much time with.”

Mr. Sanders said that “children in particular” would find it “very difficult…to understand the content,” to which Mr. Hoffman replied: “Yes.”

Mr. Hoffman admitted that some of the photographs he was shown were those he “would not show to my children”.

The investigation was told that Molly had made a number of boards on Pinterest, including two that were of interest to the actions.

Sanders said that one of the paintings was called “Stay Strong,” which tended to have “more positive” material attached to it, while the other painting, which had “more pessimistic negative content,” was called “don’t worry.”

Judson Hoffman, global head of community operations at Pinterest, at Barnet Coroner’s Court, north London, after giving evidence in the investigation into the death of Molly Russell.

What was said earlier in the investigation?

On Wednesday, Russell said his daughter had received emails from social media giant Pinterest “promoting depressing content.”

He said the material his daughter was exposed to online was “horrific,” adding that he was “certainly shocked how readily available” it was on a public platform for people over the age of 13.

At the North London Coroners Court on Wednesday, Russell questioned how his 14-year-old daughter “knew how to get into this state” before her death, adding: “Whatever steps were taken (by social media companies), they are clearly not Also enough.”

In giving testimony from the witness box, Mr. Russell was taken in by his witness statement, which read: “I also briefly looked at Molly’s YouTube account and saw … a pattern – many ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ of ordinary teens, But an equally large number of disturbing posts about anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide.

“I saw on the family computer that Molly continued to receive posthumous emails from another social media platform, Pinterest.

“I was shocked to see the subject lines of the emails clearly promoting depressing content.”

He added, “It’s just the most bleakest of all worlds. It’s not a world that I know of.”

“It’s the ghetto of the internet world.”

Russell said that “algorithms” then recommended similar content.

The inquiry also heard a statement made by Mr. Russell, in which he said that the immediate family had noticed a change in Molly’s behavior during the past 12 months of her life.

It read: “Molly was becoming more withdrawn and spending more time in her room alone, but still happily contributing to family life. Molly also found it difficult to sleep and seemed to often be the last of us awake.”

“I knew Molly had an Instagram account and a Twitter account as I also had accounts on these platforms and we ‘followed’ each other, as did other family members.

Molly closed her Twitter account that we were all following and it wasn’t until after her death that I found out that she had opened another Twitter account.

“We talked about the risks to strangers online, not giving out personal details, only sharing photos with friends, cyberbullying — that kind of thing.

“We thought Molly’s changing behavior in 2017 was just a reflection of normal adolescent mood swings, coinciding with puberty, and though we were worried we weren’t overly anxious.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I can recall some instances that didn’t seem alarming at the time but have taken on more importance now.”

The investigation, which is expected to last for two weeks, continues.

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