Denmark government to take measures against posts by influencers in wake of a recent Instagram suicide note


Popular social figure from Denmark, Fie Laursen’s suicide note on Instagram has stimulated regulatory actions for social media in Denmark.

Laursen who has about 336,000 followers on Instagram posted a disturbing letter, which remained online for two days. The post attracted more than 30,000 likes and 8,000 comments, before Laursen’s family finally managed to pull it down. The family’s response to the episode was conveyed through an Instagram post which stated that Laursen was recovering in the hospital.

The incidence has sparked a debate in the country which urges to take measures against online content from influencers. In a statement by Minister of Children and Education, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, stated that the government sought for an “editorial responsibility” for social media influencers. This could be similar to the standards of the “old press”.

Furthermore, if an influencer does not abide by the rules, their post would be taken down. Popular social media personalities who have more than a certain number of followers will be obligated to abide by a number of administrators.

“When you reach a certain number of people who are followers of your page then you will have the same responsibility as if you were an editorial person on a newspaper or on old media. So, for instance… the Danish ethical standards for the press is that you do not write about suicide or suicide attempts if it doesn’t concern the general public. We want these same standards applied to social media,” Rosenkrantz-Theil adds.

Referring to the case of Laursen, she states that despite her parents who wanted to take down the post, they were unable to do so, since nobody apart from their daughter had access to the account. As a popular personality, a regulatory board was thus necessary to delete posts that were inappropriate.

Such measures were especially necessary because the new-age mass media has changed and hence the standard of mass media communication also had to change.