The Minister of health of great Britain Matt Hancock turned to social networks to demand the blocking of content that can push Teens to suicide and self-harm; otherwise, he has threatened to take drastic action until the resource lock.
The Minister of health of great Britain Matt Hancock, the TV channel BBC said that the authorities are prepared to take action against social networks until they lock, writes “Kommersant”.
Such a measure could follow if the social network does not strengthen the fight against harmful content that could push Teens to suicide and self-harm. The Minister’s statement was made after Sunday, 27 January, the newspaper The Sunday Times published an interview with Ian Russell, the father of a 14-year-old Molly Russell, who committed suicide in 2017.
In an interview with Mr. Russell said that the social network has pushed his daughter to suicide. After the death of his daughter, he began to examine its accounts in various social networks, including Instagram and Pinterest, and found that she was going through a lot of pages, posts and images on self-harm and suicide.
“The more I looked, the more the horror came, despite the fact that I only caught a glimpse of what I was previously unknown and which had such a huge influence on my beloved daughter… there is No doubt that Instagram has had its influence on the choice of Molly,” said Mr. Russell.
After the interview, Mr. Hancock said the TV channel BBC that the authorities are ready to adopt a new law, if social media do not take measures to combat such content.
The Minister has sent warning letters to Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Apple, Google and Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
“We can pass a law, if necessary. It would be better to work on this together with social networks, but if they refuse to do what we think they ought to do, we can and should enact a law,” said Hancock. On the question of whether the authorities to block the social network or impose additional taxes for sites that refuse to remove such content, Mr Hancock replied: “I wouldn’t want it to come to a ban because of the positive influence of social networks as great… But we will have to act if needed”.
Some social networks have already reacted to the situation, saying that they are already struggling with harmful content. So, Instagram announced that they have already started to reconsider its policy with respect to content associated with self-harm, suicide, etc.
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