my five-point social media plan to protect children

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The trolling, abuse and “toxic online world” of social media that consumed every waking hour of Brianna Ghey’s final years is now all too familiar to her mother, Esther.

Even as she endured harrowing courtroom evidence detailing how two teenagers stabbed her 16-year-old daughter to death in a park in Cheshire, Ghey was sent vitriolic and humiliating messages by anonymous users on a number of online platforms.

Some messages accused her of failing as a mother. Others were transphobic. One of Brianna’s killers, Eddie Ratcliffe, now 16, was in part motivated by his victim’s transgender identity. In “dehumanising” messages shared over Snapchat and WhatsApp with his accomplice, Scarlett Jenkinson, also 16, he frequently described Brianna as “it”.

“The online world is just toxic,” said Ghey

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