British health Minister Matt Hancock said that the Parliament has powers to block social networks in the country, if the need arises. The reason for such extreme measures lies in the illegal content that is spread online, prompting teenagers to suicide.

Technology should work for the benefit of

Social networks can be blocked in the UK, if they will not be able to remove illegal content and to protect children, said British health Minister Matt Hancock during his appearance on the show The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, January 27.

According to Hancock, on popular online platforms covers a large number of videos and photos from calls for suicide. The administration of these services does not have time to monitor the content and time to remove it.

The address of Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Apple, Google, Instagram and Facebook were sent a letter in which the Minister praised the companies for the actions they have taken, but said it soon will need additional steps.

“Awful to see how similar content is easily found in search, and I have no doubt that it can cause harm, especially to young people. The Internet and social networks should take action and annihilate these publications once and for all,” reads the letter.

In an interview with Matt Hancock said that if the social network will continue to ignore instructions of the British government, he did not remain other exit, except how to address this issue at the legislative level, namely, to restrict access to popular platforms.

“The Parliament has powers to do it [block social networks “Газета.Ru it,” Hancock said in the show, but I hope this will not happen”.

In 2017, the British press reported that 14-year-old Molly Russell committed suicide, “inspired by” the relevant publications on social networks. Her father said “Bi-bi-si” that her daughter’s death “involved in Instagram”.

In addition, Mr. Russell criticized the photo sharing site Pinterest, saying that the service “have much to answer for”.

Health Minister of Britain said that he was “horrified” death to Molly, and he intends to ensure the safety of adolescents at all costs.

“Many parents feel helpless in the face of social networks. But we are not helpless. The government and social networks have the obligation to act. I want in the UK was the most secure space in the world, and no family experienced the horror faced by parents Molly” — said Matt Hancock.

Currently in the UK, is preparing a draft law on the protection of children from harmful content. It is reported that it will reflect the new obligations for social networks and IT companies.

“We must act to these wonderful technology used for good and not forced young girls to kill themselves,” — said the Minister.

Blocking is not the solution

The investigation revealed that the deceased Molly Russell had no mental health problems, but she would sit in social networks, viewing content, causing anxiety and depression.

According to a study referenced by the Guardian, a high percentage of adolescents experiencing symptoms of depression, is closely linked to the time they spend in social networks.

So, two out of five respondents of teenagers sitting in Instagram and Facebook at least three hours a day. One third of respondents have experienced online harassment, and about half of them stated problems with sleep.

While there is no evidence that social networks cause a depressed mental state, but the above pattern cannot be ignored. Many governments, including the UK, have really attended to the problem of the influence of online platforms on children’s health, but did it pretty late.

In addition, the social network can not cope with their function in the protection of youth. The Director of Facebook (which owns Instagram) to North Europe Steve hatch reported that the process of removing illegal content “rather complicated”. Instagram is not always automatically blocks posts by people who want to hurt myself because “these people may be in a difficult situation, and thus asking for help or support.”

“Such images are not prohibited on the platform,” said hatch. However, he added that the “glamor of suicide” is unacceptable, and such content will be blocked promptly.

Thus, the state and social networks are not yet able to provide the ideal solution to this problem, leaving the teenagers alone. However, it is doubtful that a total ban online platforms mentioned by Matt Hancock, will be a panacea.

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