September 2022

Coroner orders Meta and Pinterest witnesses to appear in person at inquest

Meta’s head of health and wellbeing policy, Elizabeth Lagone, and Pinterest’s head of community operations, Jud Hoffman – both based in the US – are due to give evidence at the inquest.

Lawyers representing Meta and Pinterest told a pre-inquest hearing that evidence could be given remotely.

Oliver Sanders QC, representing Molly’s family, argued in-person attendance is “gold standard”, aiding communication and making it easier for witnesses to look at the large volume of digital evidence, whereas remote evidence would be a “compromise” and “suboptimal”.

He said the family do not want to “attack or blame” either Mr Hoffman or Ms Lagone but, “The family has questions for them,” and “It wants to hear their answers and it wants to hear that face-to-face in the same room.”

Senior coroner Andrew Walker said, “The questioning of the witnesses will involve the witnesses looking at video footage, referring to documents, and that will be best done in the setting of the court itself,” and he ruled that the tech chiefs appear in person at the inquest which is due to start on 19th September.

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