A SUICIDE prevention group says calls to its helpline have leapt by 40 per cent since a father claimed Instagram “helped kill his child”. Papyrus,
A SUICIDE prevention group says calls to its helpline have leapt by 40 per cent since a father claimed Instagram “helped kill his child”.
Papyrus, which aids young people, said most calls had come from families with similar stories to Ian Russell.
The grieving dad told last week how daughter Molly, 14, had taken her life in 2017 after viewing self-harm images on social media.
Last night another father blasted Instagram after his daughter Libby got hooked on similar photos aged 12.
The father — named only as Ian — said he tried to report the worst images but the web giant did nothing. He told the BBC: “It ranged from scratching right through to Stanley knives.
“I’m an ex-military man. I didn’t see stuff like that when I was in the Army.”
Libby, who is now 16, shared pictures of her own self-harming with 8,000 Instagram followers.
The images she saw “accelerated the severity” of her cuts, she said.
Ian added: “I honestly don’t know how we did get through it. You couldn’t leave her on her own.
“So we were just working round each other, saying, ‘You’ve got to go to work. I’ve got to go to work.
Who’s going to look after Libby?’”
He claimed Instagram made it “very difficult” for parents to complain about the images.
He said: “If you’ve got an issue and you want to speak to someone, there’s nothing.
“Until it affects them or their wallet, they are not interested. Instagram needs to put its hand up and say we’ve created a monster we cannot control.”
He warned there will be “more Libbys and more Mollys” unless action is taken.
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Instagram vowed to make it harder for people to search for self-harm images.
It also pledged to stop recommending accounts which post self-harm content.
A spokesman said the company has a “deep responsibility” to protect young people.
FB court warning
SOCIAL media giants such as Facebook could be hauled into court if they fail to protect their young users.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told the Commons he is considering the move “very carefully”. He blasted tech firms for doing “nowhere near enough” to stop sick and harmful posts.
And he promised Molly Russell’s dad Ian that his campaigning will not be in vain. Mr Wright warned firms: “Duty of care is certainly something we are considering. There will be further action.”
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