Monday , October 18 2021

It is possible that new laws for online content police are needed, says the father in misfortune


(updates everywhere)
The father of a teenager who took his own life believes that new legislation is needed for the police to "disturb the content" online.

It came after the health secretary Matt Hancock wrote to the internet giants after the death of Molly Russell, 14, and said they had the duty to act.

Hancock sent the message after Molly's father said that Instagram "helped kill my daughter."

Molly RussellMolly Russell (family booklet / PA)

The health secretary said that he was "horrified" to learn from Molly's death and felt "desperately worried to ensure that young people are protected."

In his letter to Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Apple, Google and Facebook (owner of Instagram), he said: "I am pleased that you have already taken important steps and has developed some capabilities to eliminate harmful content. But I know You will accept that more action is needed urgently.

"It's terrible how easy it is to have access to this content online and I have no doubt about the damage that this material can cause, especially for young people.

"It is high time that Internet providers and the social media intensify and purge this content once and for all."

Screengrab from the tweet by Matt Hancock (@ MattHancock / Twitter / PA)

He added that the government is developing a white paper on "online damages", and said it will analyze content on suicide and self-harm.

He said: "I want to work with Internet and social media providers to ensure that the action is as effective as possible. However, let's make sure that we will introduce new legislation when it is necessary ".

Molly was found dead in her bedroom in November 2017 after showing "no obvious signs" of serious mental health problems.

Her family later found that she had been seeing material in social networks linked to anxiety, depression, self-injury and suicide.

Television director, Molly, director of television, Ian Russell, said: "It clarifies to us that despite what social media companies are saying to the public about their worrying content removal policies that This type of content is still available so that young people can find it easily and find it. They have more and more clues about algorithms.

"It is time for technology companies to stand up and have more responsibility for the content available to their young users.

"While many say that it is impossible" online police ", there must be a better and safer way of controlling what we expose young people on the Internet and ensuring that they provide more support to those who seek answers in line

"This is an issue too important to dismiss simply as too difficult.

"We are pleased that the health secretary has taken steps to write to technology companies to ask for the type of content Molly saw was eliminated.

"However, I am afraid that technology companies have already shown that they can not be trusted by the police themselves and that this legislation may be necessary.

"I would like to thank Senior Col. HM Andrew Walker for all his efforts so far to help us try to find some answers on the role of social networks upon the death of our beautiful Molly daughter."

Merry Varney, a lawyer at Leigh Day, representing the Russell family, said: "From what we have learned in the Molly case and the examples of how algorithms use negative material, you probably need a thorough investigation about these platforms, which They often allow users 13 years of age, are contributing to suicide and self-harm. "

A spokeswoman for Instagram said: "We are conducting a full review of our policies and technologies for the implementation of autoimmune diseases, suicide and eating disorders.

"As a part of this, we consult more with the mental health organizations and academics to understand what else we can do to protect and support our community, especially young people.

"While we carry out this review, we are taking steps to prevent people from finding content related to them through search and hashtags."

An investigation into the death of Molly is expected later this year.

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