Warning as girl, 14, took her own life immediately after reading suicide Q&A on popular website

A GIRL took her own life after reading a suicide question-and-answer section on a popular website, a coroner ruled.

Isabella Shere, 14, had been scrolling on the page shortly before she was found dead on February 2.

GettyA teen girl killed herself after scrolling suicide threads on the site (stock image)[/caption]

A coroner has now demanded the site take action against suicide content on its platform.

The page is accessed by hundreds of ­millions of people each month and allows users to ask questions and comment on answers from others.

Fleur ­Hallett, assistant coroner for Inner South London, said Isabella was not known to be struggling with her mental health.

But her search history in the four months before she died indicated she had been looking for information on how to end her life.

Isabella’s family had left their home in Lewisham, South London, at 8am.

She was found hanged at 1.21pm, with her phone showing a timer that had been running for running at five hours and 13 minutes.

Immediately before her death, Isabella looked at a suicide thread on the site.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Ms Hallett said: “Miss Shere left a note indicating an intention to take her own life.”

The coroner issued a prevention of future deaths report and has written to the company’s chief executive, the regulator, Ofcom and culture secretary Lucy Frazer demanding further action.

She said the thread Isabella viewed before taking her life had 169,700 views.

Ms Hallett pointed out the thread was not marked as adult content and that children can access the site without being required to create an account of provide a date of birth.

She added: “There is not sufficient monitoring and/or moderation of the content of questions/answers in ­accordance with [the site’s] own platform policies.

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
Heads Together,www.headstogether.org.uk
HUMEN www.wearehumen.org
Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
Samaritans,www.samaritans.org, 116 123

“In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you and/or your organisation have the power to take such action.”

The webiste, the government and Ofcom are all required to respond to the report within 56 days.

Under the new Online Safety Bill, tech firms will be forced to take more responsibility for the content on their platforms.

Platforms will also need to show they are committed to removing illegal content such as promoting self harm.

How to keep your children safe online

Internet expert Allison Troutner listed eight ways to keep kids safe online:

Consider a family “tech agreement”
Report any harmful content that you see
Balance safety with independence
Keep the computer in a common space
Password-protect all accounts and devices
Update your operating systems regularly
Install security or antivirus software programs and a VPN on your computer
Set parental controls

Find out more about each step in this article by The Sun.

The report comes after Peep Show star Sophie Winkleman last week urged Labour and the Tories to ban smartphones for under-16s.

The mum-of-two made the plea on Never Mind The Ballots after also writing a comment piece for The Sun.

Sophie said: “More than a million British children per year are referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

“If teenagers used brick phones capable only of of calling and texting — instead of the current portals to cyber-bullying, grooming, self-harm chat rooms, pro-anorexia forums and terrifyingly violent porn — the Government could save itself millions.”

The Sun Online has contacted the site for comment.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123.

Ray CollinsSophie Winkleman has called for a ban on smartphones for under-16s[/caption]

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