Parents who lost children demand more access to what they’re exposed to online Tech News

Bereaved parents of suicidal children want authorities to consider online histories when determining their cause of death.

mother archie battersbydied August 2022 After an erroneous “prank or experiment”Join other families demanding more access to the content their children are exposed to online.

“I think it should be available and part of the overall investigation,” Hollie Dance told Sky News.

“When it comes to the death of a child, everything should be investigated.

“Obviously they look into parents, family life, school life. Why not social media?”

Four months ago, Ms Dance’s 12-year-old son Archie died after being found unconscious in his home.

She thought he may have been participating in the online challenge, but the coroner ruled his death was an accident.

“We’ve got his phone now, so let’s go back and see what this kid likes,” she said.

“What does he watch? Does he watch a lot of social media? Doesn’t he?”

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August 2022: “I’m broken”

Molly Russell ruling ‘opens our eyes’

Ian Russell campaigns to reach his daughter MollySocial media history after she was found dead in her bedroom in November 2017.

Molly, 14, sees a lot of content online related to suicide, depression and anxiety.

In a landmark ruling September surveythe coroner ruled her death was not a suicide but “an act of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of internet content”.

Ms Dance, who attended a bereaved family conference with Mr Russell this week, said: “Molly’s father was here and taught us what we didn’t know.

“It opened our eyes to things we can do and use in the future.”

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“Shocking to see the material so bad”

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‘It’s scarring to lose a friend at that age’

“What’s wrong with you?”

Liam Walsh’s daughter Maia died just weeks before her 14th birthday.

An inquest into her death opened in October, but a hearing date has yet to be set.

Coroner Mr Walsh will have access to Maia’s full social media history pending a determination of Maia’s cause of death.

“When I ran my fingers through her hair and I hugged her belly, the question I asked was what happened,” he said.

“What’s wrong with you? I’m still asking this question today.”

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maya walsh
maya walsh

“We have this mission”

In her first interview since the death of her son Isaac, Lisa Kenevan told Sky News she was on a mission to bring about change.

“He’s a typical 13-year-old boy with a good group of friends,” she said.

“He’s very loving. We hug him every day and he hugs us every day.”

She believes social media may hold clues leading up to Isaac’s death.

“Our world has been a mess, but we have this mission, this need, to want to get out there and help all the other parents who have been through this, either by stepping up or knowing they have support,” she said.

“And really driving some awareness around the social platform — things need to step up.”

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The Online Safety Act is definitely too late

Parents of Molly Russell, Archie Battersbee, Isaac Kevevan, Maia Walsh and Christoforos Nicolaou are campaigning for more access to their children's social media histories
Parents of Molly Russell, Archie Battersbee, Isaac Kevevan, Maia Walsh and Christoforos Nicolaou are campaigning for more access to their children’s social media histories

“Threats are meant to hurt us”

The families met at the home of George and Areti Nicolaou, whose son Christoforos, 15, joined an encouraging He took his own life in 2022 after conducting a dangerously challenging online forum.

His parents described him as “the heart of the family” who “brought joy and happiness to our family”, but his escalating challenges left him miserable.

“There were some challenges, like he had to go to bed at all and go to school in the morning,” his parents said.

“Then there were challenges, like you had to talk to us all night. Then there were challenges where they had him get his phone and record the whole house.

“Then threatened to hurt us, his parents, if he didn’t complete the challenge he was asked to complete.”

George and Areti set up the Christoforos Charitable Foundation in memory of their son.

They hope to ensure his legacy goes further by working with other families to raise awareness of the dangers of the internet.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can contact Samaritans for help on 116 123 or in the UK. In the U.S., call your area Samaritan chapter or dial 1 (800) 273-TALK

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