14 October 2022

Molly Russell coroner suggests separate social media platforms for adults and children

14 October 2022

The father of schoolgirl Molly Russell has urged social media companies not to “drag their feet waiting for legislation”, as a coroner issued recommendations including separate platforms for adults and children.

Coroner Andrew Walker sent a Prevention of Future Deaths report to businesses such as Meta, Pinterest, Twitter and Snapchat as well as the UK Government on Thursday, in which he urged a review of the algorithms used by the sites to provide content.

The 14-year-old, from Harrow in north-west London, ended her life in November 2017 after viewing suicide and self-harm content online, prompting her family to campaign for better internet safety.

Reacting to the recommendations issued by the coroner, Molly’s father Ian said: “We urge social media companies to heed the coroner’s words and not drag their feet waiting for legislation and regulation, but instead to take a proactive approach to self-regulation to make their platforms safer for their young users.

“They should think long and hard about whether their platforms are suitable for young people at all.”

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