'Reading Harry Potter is my escape': Haunting tweet by Molly Russell, 14, to JK Rowling revealed after suicide

'Reading Harry Potter is my escape': Haunting tweet by Molly Russell, 14, to JK Rowling revealed after suicide
Molly Russell, 14, reached out to many celebs including JK Rowling before her death (YouTube/BBC News screenshot, Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Warning: This article includes comments about suicide and depression that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

HARROW, LONDON: A 14-year-old schoolgirl who shook the world and exposed the dangers of unsupervised usage of social media apparently tried to reach out to JK Rowling in a series of haunting tweets weeks before her death. Molly Russell died in November 2017 after engaging with over 2,000 pictures of depression, suicide, and self-harm on various social media platforms.

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In a now-deleted Twitter account, Russell reached out to the writer, saying, "@jk_rowling my mind has been full of suicidal thoughts for a while but reading HP and the world you created is my escape." She also messaged YouTuber Salice Rose, saying, "I don't fit in this world. Everyone is better off without me..." She also reportedly messaged 'Riverdale' actress Lili Reinhart. All these tweets were mere months before she took her life. The Barnet Coroner's Court heard that the 14-year-old saved and liked 2,100 photographs on Instagram that were related to self-harm and depression

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The Russell family's attorney Oliver Sanders KC told the North London Coroner's Court that "it encourages a false sense of belonging to a community that certainly can't do anything to help." KC further said, "The platforms did not know her age and did not know what the content was, they were ignorantly blind, without thought, without control. We submit that this caused her harm and contributed towards her death."

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Molly Russell's father, Ian Russell, told the court, "It was only after her death that we were made aware that she set up an alternative Twitter account that she used to communicate in a way she wouldn't have wanted to share with the family. I believe that social media helped kill my daughter and I believe that sort of content is still there, as reported by Daily Mail

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Molly Russell reached out to celebs before taking her life

Molly Russell's first activity on this account dates back to December 2016, just a year before her death. She retweeted an account that was solely dedicated to sharing depressing posts. It said, "I'm so tired of feeling unwanted and helpless. Even with friends surrounding me, I feel like an outcast." Months before she started messaging and tweeting celebrities, her mental health started deteriorating drastically as one of her tweets read, "Everyone is better off without me," and that she was "irrelevant" saying, "I don't fit in this world." None of the celebrities replied as they get thousands of messages and tweets on a daily basis. 

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Coroner Andrew Walker has argued that Russell's death was not only because of her actions but because they were heavily influenced by the social media that has gone unregulated. Walker told the North London Coroner's Court, "At the time that these sites were viewed by Molly, some of these sites were not safe as they allowed access to adult content that should not have been available for a 14-year-old child to see." He continued, "The way that the platforms operated meant that Molly had access to images, video clips and text concerning or concerned with self-harm, suicide or that were otherwise negative or depressing in nature." NSPCC chief executive Sir Peter Wanless issues a statement as per BBC saying, "This should send shockwaves through Silicon Valley - tech companies must expect to be held to account when they put the safety of children second to commercial decisions. The magnitude of this moment for children everywhere cannot be understated."

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