Law enforcement officials recently tracked down a “suicide” chat group on Instagram comprising 12 teenage girls as its members. The London-based group was discovered as part of an ongoing investigation after the disappearance of three active members came to the fore. The report further indicated that about seven girls in the group had inflicted serious self-harm upon themselves.

The findings, which can be attributed to BBC, pointed to the fact that the members were all minors aged between 12 to 16 years. While the contents discussed in the group haven’t been entirely revealed, the girls did discuss suicide to a large extent as per police briefing.

As per the police document published on March 25, references were made suggesting how “peer-to-peer influence increased suicidal ideation amongst the children involved to the extent that several escalated to suicidal crises and serious self-harm”.

Now that all the members have been traced, officials have roped in seven local authority children's social care services to keep close tabs on their activities as a preventive measure. Despite the group having operated on Instagram, whose parent company is Facebook, the social media app maintained that the group had not flouted rules.

A Facebook spokesperson said: “Mental health, suicide, and self-harm are serious issues with devastating consequences, and our deepest sympathies are with anyone affected by them. We are cooperating with the police on this important investigation and reviewed reports but found no content that broke our rules, nor in fact, any suicide or self-harm-related content. We don’t allow graphic content, or content that promotes or encourages suicide or self-harm, and will remove it when we find it. We’ll continue to support the police and will respond to any valid legal request for information.”

The content that was approved and circulated on Instagram came under the scanner when Molly Russell, a 14-year-old member, killed herself after viewing graphic images on Instagram. The shocking news raised issues pertaining to the quality of the content on the popular social media app.

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