Internet Again Blamed For Suicides
from the ignoring-the-real-issue dept
Northern Ireland's health minister has apparently met with social-networking site Bebo, mobile phone operator Vodafone and Google to ask them what they're going to do to help stop the growing number of teen suicides there. He says the suicide rate in Northern Ireland has grown significantly over the last year, and "the internet has been cited as a contributory factor in some cases." Certainly a growth in teen suicides deserves some action, but a more prudent step to take would be to examine the root causes of the problem, rather than taking the easy way out and blaming the internet. It's not clear what the minister wants of Vodafone, but it would seem pretty safe to assume he wants Bebo and Google to try and block or limit posts and information about suicide, as has been done before. Again, this seems rather pointless and a way to just distract people from the real, underlying issues that are causing suicides. Furthermore, some people think that trying to force suicide-related content offline can actually lead to more suicides. Blaming the internet for suicides, then working to get suicide-related content offline, is nothing more than attempting to gloss over the problem -- and shouldn't be mistaken for actually doing anything about it.