The heartbroken father of a teenager who took her own life has claimed social media app Instagram "helped" kill her. Ian Russell revealed his 14-year-old daughter Molly died after viewing images glorifying self-harm and suicide, The Sun reports.
Molly was found dead just hours after handing in her homework and packing a schoolbag for the following day. Her devastating suicide note wrote: “I’m sorry. I did this because of me.”
The teen, from Middlesex, England, had reportedly started viewing posts without her family's knowledge. Mr Russell told the BBC: "I have no doubt that Instagram helped kill my daughter. She had so much to offer and that's gone."
“She seemed to be a very ordinary teenager. She was future-looking. She was enthusiastic. She handed her homework in that night. She packed her bags and was preparing to go to school the next day and then when we woke up the next morning, she was dead."
“Quite a lot of that content was quite positive. Perhaps groups of people who were trying to help each other out, find ways to remain positive to stop self-harming," Mr Russell continued. “But some of that content is shocking in that it encourages self-harm, it links self-harm to suicide and I have no doubt that Instagram helped kill my daughter.
“The posts on those sites are so often black and white, they’re sort of fatalistic. [They say] there’s no hope, join our club, you’re depressed, I’m depressed, there are lots of us, come inside this virtual club.”
Instagram’s guidelines say posts should not “glorify self-injury” while phrases such as “self-harm” bring up a warning - but users are able to view the pictures after ignoring the message.