Holly Willoughby has revealed her fears for her children after Instagram was accused of ‘helping to kill’ a teenage girl.
Molly Russell was found dead in her room in November 2017 with a note saying: "I’m sorry. I did this because of me."
Her devastated father has accused Instagram playing a part in his 14-year-old daughter’s suicide after finding material promoting self harm on her social media sights.
Speaking on This Morning, Ian Russell explained there was nothing out of the ordinary about his teenage daughter before her death.
Presenter Holly told Ian not to blame himself after he there were some signs in hindsight and he takes responsibility for "not doing more about them".
Ian Russell spoke about his ‘caring’ daughter Molly on This Morning
Molly Russell, 14, who took her own life in November 2017
- Instagram’s 13million #suicide posts despite tragic deaths of teens like Molly Russell
He believes that Molly had never intended to take her life when she went to her room on that fateful night.
Ian said: "What we’ve found was shocking. Looking a some of her social media accounts. Just the content on there.
"We were unaware she was following these accounts and it must have had a profoundly detrimental affect to her mental health and contributed to her death."
Ian joined Phil and Holly on the This Morning sofa
Ian wants Instagram to change their algorithm
Ian was asked if he believed the algorithms on Instragram contributed to Molly’s death.
He said: "I think so. It’s certainly the case this algorithm and emails were pushing disturbing content toward Molly.
"It must have been a contributing factor. If you’re addicted to that sort of content it will suck you down that dark, dark rabbit hole."
Holly revealed her fears for her own kids
Holly said her children were approaching their teenage years and asked Ian if he had any advice for her and other parents.
He said: "I think it’s so hard, its a knife edge, it’s a battle. If you for example say I’m taking your phones off you before you go to bed it might be a good idea or it might drive a wedge between you and your children.
"The most important thing is you need trust and to discuss things openly as a family – which is where I think I failed.
"Trying to install in your children the confidence to come to you or a teacher if they find something disturbing."
Phil and Holly were angry that the content was still accessible
Phillip Schofield and co-host Holly were angry that the content was still accessible when they looked before the show.
Ian admitted that steps were being taken to improve this but the warnings were not there when Molly was still alive.
Instagram said “nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people in our community,” and insisted the site does not allow content promoting self-harm.
It added: “We are undertaking a full review of our enforcement policies and technologies around self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.”
If you feel lost or overwhelmed, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123, or you can email [email protected] .
*This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10.30am
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