Pinterest CEO Admits The Platform Is “Insecure” When Used By Molly Russell | internet safety

a senior Pinterest The CEO admitted that the platform was “unsafe” when Molly Russell used it, after she apologized for the graphic material shown to the teen before her death.

An inquest into the 14-year-old’s death heard how Molly viewed multiple images of self-harm on the online pinboard website, and emails were sent from the company recommending depression-related content.

Judd Hoffman, head of community operations at Pinterest, said he was “deeply sorry” that Molly saw graphic material on the platform before she killed herself in November 2017.

Hoffman told an inquest into the teen’s death Thursday that Pinterest remains “imperfect” and that content that violates its policies “probably still exists” on the platform.

Oliver Sanders KC, who represents Molly’s family, asked him if Pinterest accepted that the site wasn’t safe when it was on in 2017, where it had access to graphic material referring to self-harm, depression and suicide.

Hoffman replied, “That’s right. There was content that should have been removed and it wasn’t removed.”

Molly, from Harrow, northwest London, killed herself in November 2017 after viewing a large amount of content on social media platforms – especially Pinterest and Instagram – related to depression, suicide, self-harm and anxiety.

The North London Coroner’s Court heard evidence from Hoffman on Thursday, relaying through the last 100 posts Molly saw before her death. “It is important to note that I am very sorry that she was able to access some of the content that was viewed,” Hoffman said.

When asked by Sanders if he was sorry that it happened, Hoffman said, “I’m sorry that it happened.”

Hoffman admitted that emails Pinterest sent to the teen such as “10 Depression Pins You Might Like” contained “the kind of content we don’t like anyone spending a lot of time with.”

US resident Hoffman received a summons to appear in person by the chief coroner, Andrew Walker. The chief executive said the technology now available to the company to edit content “wasn’t available to us” before Molly’s death.

Pinterest’s survey guidelines were shown for the platform in 2017 that recommended removing content that promoted self-harm, while “playing” or “disturbing” content was to reduce or hide it. An image of self-harm that Molly saw before her death appeared on Pinterest’s internal slide platform explaining guidelines for dealing with self-harm content.

Hoffman admitted that some of the pictures he was shown were those he “would not show to my children”.

The investigation was told that Molly had submitted a number of boards on Pinterest, including two that were of interest to the actions.

Sanders said that one of the panels was called “Stay Strong,” which tended to be “more positive” about recovery, while the other panel, with “more pessimistic negative content,” was called “Not to Worry.”

Asked if content seen by Molly will now be removed under current Pinterest guidelines, Hoffman said “a portion” of it would be.

Hoffman was also asked about Pinterest searches by Ian Russell, Molly’s father, this year. Sanders said that Russell searched under the term “suicide quotes” — a term his daughter also uses when searching on Pinterest — and found content “definitely similar to the bottom end that Molly was looking for.” Hoffman said the “suicide quotes” should have been on the list of banned search terms and were accidentally omitted.

The investigation is ongoing.

In the United Kingdom, the charity Youth Suicides Papyrus Call 080068 4141 or email, and in the UK and Ireland Samaritans You can contact the toll-free number 116123, email or in the United States , The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to contact a Crisis Text Line Counsellor. In Australia, Crisis Support Service Lifeline It is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at

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