Girl, 14, viewed ‘disturbing’ content on Instagram before taking her own life

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A 14-year-old schoolgirl viewed material on social media "too disturbing for even an adult" to look at before she took her own life, a corners court has heard.

Molly Russell, 14, viewed content linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide before ending her life in November 2017.

Among pictures of her school friends and celebrities, there was "bleak depressive material, graphic self-harm content and suicide-encouraging memes".

A pre-inquest review heard a huge volume of "pretty dreadful" Instagram posts were given to the investigation by owner Facebook.

All material was viewed by 14-year-old Molly but, some of the material has been redacted in court.

Molly's distraught dad, who has become a social media reform campaigner since her death, was seated in court.

He also up the Molly Rose Foundation in her memory, and funds are expected to go towards other struggling teens.

In a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists published in January, he said: "Among the usual school friends, pop groups and celebrities followed by 14-year-olds, we found bleak depressive material, graphic self-harm content and suicide encouraging memes."

He added: "I have no doubt that social media helped kill my daughter."

The inquest will look at how algorithms used by social media giants to keep users hooked may have contributed to her death.

In the UK a person is lost to suicide every 90 minutes, and it is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35.

  • Barman sues pub for over £1 million after beer explosion blew his arm off

Mental health is a topic people rarely speak about, a taboo, as people face barriers getting the help they desperately need.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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