(Bloomberg) -- Online material from sites including Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram and Pinterest Inc. played a “more than minimal” part in a teenager girl’s death, according to a London judge. 

Coroner Andrew Walker concluded Friday that Molly Russell’s death in 2017 at the the age of 14, would “not be safe” to be called suicide and was instead “an act of self-harm whilst suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content.” 

The verdict came after a two-week London inquest which examined whether social media contributed to her death. Executives from Meta and Pinterest were grilled during the hearings on whether the algorithms used on their social media sites exacerbated her mental health. 

A raft of lawsuits have been filed in the US against Big Tech from young people who claim social media addiction caused them to develop serious mental health issues. Meta whistle-blower Frances Haugen accused the company of knowingly preying on vulnerable young people to boost profits.

“We’re committed to ensuring that Instagram is a positive experience for everyone, particularly teenagers, and we will carefully consider the Coroner’s full report when he provides it,” a Meta spokesperson said. 

Social Media Firms Fed Teenage Girl ‘Hopelessness’ Before Death

Russell had liked, shared or saved a total of 16,300 posts on Instagram, 2,100 of which were self-harm related, in the six-months before her death, according to her family’s lawyers. On Pinterest, Russell had 5,793 pin impressions and 2,692 close-ups in the same time period -- types of engagement on the site.

“The platforms operated in such a way using algorithms as to result, in some circumstances, of binge periods of images, video clips and text,” which “romanticized acts of self-harm” and “sought to isolate and discourage discussion with those who may have been able to help,” Walker said.  

Oliver Sanders, the Russell family lawyer, asked the judge Friday to send instructions on how to prevent this happening again to Pinterest, Meta, the UK government and the communications regulator.

“Over the past few years, we’ve continued to strengthen our policies around self-harm content,” Pinterest said after the ruling. “Molly’s story has reinforced our commitment to creating a safe and positive space for our pinners.”

(Updates throughout)

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