Parents criticise ‘unforgivable’ delays by Meta in son’s sextortion death case

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The mother of a 16-year-old boy who killed himself aft being blackmailed connected Instagram has criticised nan platform’s owner, Meta, for “unforgivable” delays successful releasing information that was cardinal to nan constabulary investigation into her son’s death.

Murray Dowey died past December astatine his family location successful Dunblane, Scotland. His parents, Ros and Mark, opportunity they judge he was tricked into sending friendly pictures to an Instagram contact, who he thought was a woman his ain property but turned retired to beryllium overseas criminals progressive successful financially motivated intersexual extortion – known arsenic “sextortion”.

Ros Dowey besides accused nan authorities successful Nigeria, wherever his blackmailer is thought to beryllium based, of putting different young people’s lives astatine consequence because of their deficiency of practice successful search down nan criminals who had targeted Murray.

Police Scotland confirmed connected Thursday greeting that Meta had released nan information requested by them, but Dowey said nan societal media institution had deliberately delayed and hindered nan investigation.

“It’s bad capable that they don’t put nan protections successful spot and are not utilizing each nan technologies that they could to make them safer platforms for young people.

“The correct point to do would beryllium for them to manus nan information complete to Police Scotland instantly successful January. [Instead] they delayed arsenic agelong arsenic they can. It tin only beryllium that they’re worried that nan information will effect their profits and their reputation,” she said.

Dowey referred to nan lawsuit of Ellen Roome, whose 14-year-old boy killed himself. She is calling for parents to beryllium fixed nan ineligible correct to entree their children’s societal media accounts to thief understand why they died.

“If they won’t manus complete information to organisations for illustration Police Scotland past an individual genitor has sewage nary chance.”

In a statement, Meta said: “Our thoughts are pinch nan Dowey family during this difficult time.” It went on: “We’ve afloat cooperated pinch rule enforcement successful this investigation, including responding to immoderate information requests.”

Mark and Ros Dowey airs for a photograph successful a garden
Ros Dowey, pictured pinch her husband, Mark, said: ‘I want whoever did this to Murray to beryllium identified and brought to justice.’ Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

Dowey told nan Guardian nan advancement of nan investigation successful Nigeria was “painfully slow”.

“As clip passes, it’s going to beryllium harder to stitchery immoderate grounds if they do yet place nan person,” she said. “In nan meantime, really galore much young group are nan aforesaid perpetrators terrorising?”

Crime agencies crossed nan UK, US and Australia confirm that nan crime of sextortion is rising sharply, pinch teenage boys and young big males typically nan victims of loosely organised cybercriminal gangs, often based successful westbound Africa aliases south-east Asia.

Last year, 2 Nigerian men were extradited to nan US to look charges relating to online extortion and their portion successful nan termination of Jordan DeMay, 17, of Michigan. Police successful New South Wales announced successful April that 2 different men had been charged successful Nigeria complete nan alleged intersexual extortion of a 16-year-old Australian boy who killed himself past year.

Dowey said: “I want whoever did this to Murray to beryllium identified and brought to justice. But it’s not conscionable astir justness for Murray – location has to beryllium a deterrent to these people.

“UK children are going to beryllium much astatine consequence if these perpetrators think: ‘I whitethorn look consequences if I do this to a US aliases Australian kid, but thing happens if you do it to a UK kid’.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Inquiries are continuing to found nan afloat circumstances starring up to nan death.”

Source theguardian