“Instagram messed up my mental health”: Support for Ofcom regulation of social media

A Sunderland student is supporting government proposal to give Ofcom new powers to regulate social media.

Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been self-regulated up until now.

Psychology student, 20-year-old Olivia Gallacher from Darlington, said: “The one that I’d probably say is the worst would definitely be Instagram. It tends to show a lot of really false body image and I don’t like that at all.

“It really messed up my mental health when I was about 15.”

In a press release, the government has announced it is “minded” to grant new powers to Ofcom, which currently only regulates the media and telecoms.

Ofcom have responded by welcoming the proposal, stating: “We share the Government’s ambition to keep people safe online and welcome that it is minded to appoint Ofcom as the online harms regulator.”

The reform follows numerous high profile incidents, including the suicide of 14-year-old Molly Russell in 2017.


By Ryan Easby and Courtney Mackel

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