Prince William addresses teen who died by suicide because of social media

Cheryl E Preston
Prince WilliamScreenshot New York Times

Prince William speaks out

People is reporting that William the Prince of Wales spoke out about the dangers of social media after a 14-year-old British teen Molly Russell died in 2017 by suicide. In a tweet the heir to the throne said "No parent should ever have to endure what Ian Russell and his family have been through," he said. "They have been so incredibly brave. Online safety for our children and young people needs to be a prerequisite, not an afterthought".

People revealed that Prince William had been following the story of Molly Russell since first hearing about it in 2019. A royal source said that the Prince is passionate about Cyberbullying and in 2016, he set up the Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying, which brought together players from the "online, tech and youth sectors to see what measures could be taken to combat the rise in harassment and the alienation felt by some young people online".

Molly's father Ian Russell has been fighting for social media reforms after it was revealed that his daughter had viewed According to the BBC Russell has called for changes at the highest level, asking social media sites to prioritize safety for children, Russell said that months prior to her death, his daughter reportedly "shared, liked, or saved 16,300 pieces of content on Instagram, of which 2,100 of them were related to suicide, self-harm, and depression."

Social media can be dangerous for teens

This information was based on data according to data revealed by the platform's parent company, Meta, per the Times. An official inquest was led by Coroner Andrew Walker which concluded that Molly died from "an act of self-harm" and added that the images of self-harm and suicide viewed by the teen "shouldn't have been available for a child to see." He also said that Instagram and Pinterest used algorithms that showed Molly the images without her seeking them out.

Walker concluded: "It is likely that the above material viewed by Molly, already suffering with a depressive illness and vulnerable due to her age, affected her mental health in a negative way and contributed to her death in a more than minimal way,"

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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