Statement on British Ruling Holding Social Media Accountable for Teenager’s Suicide
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 1, 2022— A coroner in London concluded that Instagram and other social media platforms contributed to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who committed suicide in November 2017 after viewing large amounts of online content about self-harm and suicide. Jim Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, issued the following statement.
"No longer can social media companies deny the direct link to the self-harm and deterioration of kids' mental health that is caused by the harmful content that goes unchecked on their platforms. The case of Molly Russell is a tragic outcome that could have been prevented if Instagram and other social media platforms had listened to the pleas from parents, legislators, child advocates, and concerned voices from every corner of the globe who wanted to them take action and produce stronger online protections to keep kids safe. They ignored everyone and now a child has lost her life because of their egregious neglect."
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Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.