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Judge Rules That social media Played a Role in the Death of a Uk Teen

According to a London judge, online material from sites such as Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram and Pinterest Inc. played a “more than minor” role in the murder of a juvenile girl. Coroner Andrew Walker found on Friday that Molly Russell’s death in 2017 at the age of 14 could not be classified as suicide because it was “an act of self-harm while suffering from despair and the detrimental impacts of internet information.”

The judgment came following a two-week London inquest into whether social media played a role in her death. During the proceedings, executives from Meta and Pinterest were questioned about whether the algorithms utilized on their social media platforms affected her mental health.

A slew of lawsuits against Big Tech has been filed in the United States by young people who say social media addiction caused them to acquire major mental health disorders. Frances Haugen, a Meta whistleblower, accused the corporation of purposefully preying on vulnerable young people in order to increase revenues.

“We’re committed to making Instagram a great experience for everyone, especially teenagers,” a Meta spokeswoman stated. Before her death, social media companies fed a teen girl’s ‘hopelessness.’ According to her family’s lawyers, Russell liked, shared, or saved a total of 16,300 Instagram posts in the six months preceding her death, 2,100 of which were self-harm related. Russell had 5,793 pin impressions and 2,692 close-ups on Pinterest during the same time period – two sorts of engagement on the platform.

Judge Rules That social media

“The platforms worked in such a way employing algorithms that resulted, in some situations, in binge periods of photos, video clips, and text,” Walker said, adding that they “romanticized acts of self-harm” and “sought to isolate and restrict conversation with people who may have been able to help.” The Russell family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, urged the judge on Friday to give directions on how to avoid this from happening again to Pinterest, Meta, the UK government, and the communications regulator.

“We’ve continued to enhance our standards around self-harm content over the past few years,” Pinterest said in response to the ruling. “Molly’s tale has strengthened our commitment to providing a safe and positive environment for our pinners.”

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