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.

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Companies: bebo, google, vodafone

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Comments on “Internet Again Blamed For Suicides”

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susan says:

Re: sicko

i take it u have never been bullied then?well these people have no way out or someone to talk to,half of these people are just crying for help and i DO NOT THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD CALLING THEM STUPID this boy is no longer here but it is the family who are suffering and keep asking them selfs why didnt i know there was something wrong the kids nowadays wont talk to anyone as they will be accused of being called a pussy or a mummys boy so please wind your neck in and have some respect as it may be ur child one day

LBD says:

Re: Re: sicko

Speaking as one who has had my ass kicked multiple times throughout elementary school, and has been bullied into high school…. I’d say feeling martyred about being bullied is somewhat… arrogant.

Beliving that your problems are worse then those of others is arrogant. I know people who have dead parents, and were raised by single parents because of it. I know people who have been abused by parents too.

Bullying? Just some jerk calling you fat or something. Jeasus, I know the pen is mightier then the sword, but it’s just words, and if they actually hit you then you’ve got the right to get the police involved.

I’ve got other problems then just bullying, and I’m no emo-goth suicider. I’m a physics major at a U with a mother who has not been able to walk since I was three. And never once have I concidered suicide seriously… so really, get over yourselves. And I know I’m being arrogant too but…

Eddie says:

I think that social networking sites like Bebo can certainly help prevent suicides, by setting up easy-access suicide chatlines and such. The telephone suicide-hotlines may be unaccessible for younger children, because they’re afraid of their parents finding out or because they’re not allowed to use the phone. Perhaps governments can help fund these chatlines?

John (profile) says:

Another scapegoat

Let’s play a mutliple choice game:

Johnny comitted suicide because…
1) He listened to too much hard rock music which glorified Satan worship.

2) He found some information on Google.

3) He saw a video on YouTube.

4) He was going through the usual physical and pyschological changes that occur when someone matures from a child to a teenager and he became mentally ill to the point where he believed suicide was a valid option to ending his real or imagined problems. He also must believed he had no “support system” on which he could rely on to talk about his problems.

Nah, it can’t be option #4. That’s too complicated of an issue to solve. Let’s just blame the Internet and get a law passed to ban Google.

Omg someone actually SAID that? says:


“This is ingenious, guys- OBVIOUSLY adolescents are so emotionally disturbed after reading something on google or seeing a video on youtube or seeing something on ED that offends them even in the slightest, they are therefore prompted to commit suicide on the spot! See, this will work, because everyone KNOWS that children are too hardy to let stalkers, surpressed memories of rape, murder, or otherwise, physical abuse, peer pressure, and not to mention drugs within their school (but that never happens anyway, so that’s pretty much a moot point) cause the prospect of suicide to even cross their minds! So now that we have a BS excuse to shut down the internets, we can finally resume our pretentious denial of society’s real and very serious flaws!”

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