SUPER-RICH tech giants are “costing young people’s lives” by failing to take down self-harm images, tragic Molly Russell’s dad warned today.
Ian Russell said 300 kids have killed themselves since his daughter committed suicide 18 months ago.
And he said hundreds more will if social media companies like Facebook are allowed to wait until a legal duty of care is imposed on them.
The legal crackdown is expected to take two years before it becomes law.
Mr Russell said: “Each week on average four people of school age kill themselves in the UK.
“So while we consult on what form this legislation should take, or worry that it night be unduly eroding freedom of speech, lives are being lost. We need action now.”
Mr Russell was speaking on the eve of the 18-month anniversary of his daughter’s death.
The 14-year-old killed herself after being bombarded by self-harm content on Instagram.
He tore into Instagram for still having sick images on its website – warning “it is still too easy to find such dangerous content”.
We need action now
He added: “I plead with for all governments, tech companies and individuals to act for the common decency and act soon to save the lives of innocent youngsters like Molly.
“It completely baffles me why they aren’t themselves making changes, because this is costing young people’s lives.”
Mr Russell joined the NSPCC in demanding social media giants hurry up and act.
And he demanded that tech bosses like Mark Zuckerberg are held personally liable for the sick material pedalled on their platforms.
He also told of the tragic moment he discovered his daughter had killed herself.
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He said: “The night before Molly died she completed her homework, packed her bag and told us she would see us in the morning. Sadly that wasn’t to be.
“In the few hours between saying sleep well and the terrible dawning of the painful next day Molly’s only other influence must have come from beyond our house, beyond our love and protection, from the internet.
“We will never know why exactly Molly decided to take her life – but we will never stop seeking answers.”
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