Is this social media or teenage girls?

Self-harm is revered on social media, says an MP’s daughter whose experiences have inspired his fight to crack down on tech giants.

In an article for The Telegraph, Claudia Collins, 14, said self-harm content was still “as dominant as ever” on social media four years after Molly Russell, also 14, took her life after being targeted with self-harm and suicide content on Instagram.

Ms Collins, daughter of Damian Collins, the chairman of the committee helping draft new duty of care laws, said: “Self-harm is not just prominent on social media, it is revered. Molly’s death reflects an online world fuelling an epidemic.”

Seems fairly important to work out which part of that headline is true. Because that will determine whether the crackdown is upon social media or teenage girls, no?

13 thoughts on “Is this social media or teenage girls?”

  1. I mean, weren’t girls all anorexic before the internet, and wasn’t that a problem?

    If somehow Facebook ban all this stuff, girls will go and find it elsewhere. It’s not like Facebook are creating it. It’s not like you have to go and look at it. You can just unfollow people on Facebook.

    And Facebook is like an episode of Miss Marple compared to 4chan.

  2. Ms Collins

    I thought “Ms” is used when it is unsure if the woman is married or not. Given that Miss Collins is 14, even in some of the more vibrant areas of the country we should be certain she is not.

  3. You’re right, BiW. In keeping with the customs of the times she obviously should have been referred to as Xs

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jonathan Haidt has been studying the effects of social media for some time and is worth a read. He makes a very good argument for banning children under 16 without the written permission of a parent. (Yes difficult to implant etc).

    He also explains why it’s worse for girls than boys.

    If you’ve got half an hour you can hear make those arguments on a recent Quillette podcast.

  5. So right, BiND. Something I will never understand. Parents would (hopefully) never send their kids out to play in the fast lane of the motorway or the grubbier ends of Soho yet they let them loose unsupervised on the interweb. Then expect everybody else to childmind them. Seems to me, if some 16 year old girl got the idea & the reason to top herself there, there’s only two ( or possibly one) persons to blame. If you didn’t want to be responsible for your children WTF did you have them?

  6. Dennis, Dispensing Wisdom. Or Something.

    I didn’t know it was a requirement to be on Instagram at age 14.

    Perhaps educating the impressionable that there is life outside social media? Or that social media can be toxic and should be treated as such?

  7. Dennis, the problem’s been solvable since the advent of the interweb. Bit of software on the device blocks connecting to non-approved sites. Child friendly sites that are monitored for content. If the kids must have Facebook, Kids Facebook. If they must have Instagram, Instatot. Wouldn’t even be an expensive deal given the enormous economies of scale.
    But parents begrudge the few cents it might cost them. The trivial inconvenience it might cause them.
    The default is they’re my kids but they’re everybody else’s problem. I’m entitled to everyone jumping through hoops for me. To which the correct response is – fuck off.

  8. In all seriousness, I blame television. Three or whatever it is generations sitting staring at a screen umpteen hours a day has changed people’s natures. They’ve become used to being spoonfed their culture with no effort needed on their part. They’re lazy.
    And the culture they’re fed. It’s all an exaggeration of real life. More scary, more violent, more happy, more funny, more passionate, more dramatic.
    It’s no surprise folk are getting more & more fucked up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *