The British Medical Journal has published (behind a payment firewall) a report saying that suicide is promoted on the web.  There are the usual calls for Internet Service Providers to

"pursue strategies that would maximise the likelihood that sites aimed at preventing suicide are sourced first."

Paul Canning has written at length and incisively about the story.  He points out his searches on suicide, and how to commit suicide generally don’t encourage the act.  He also points out quite rightly that instead of complaining the charities should be doing what they can to promote the supportive sites.  Just like I have done with the links in the sentence above. 

Incidentally, Marjorie Wallace of Sane hasn’t got a leg to stand on.  Search for suicide on the SANE website (click on image below) and you simply get a bunch of research and lobbying.  Not the page they have produced to help prevent suicides.



The British Medical Journal has now released the full report.


paul canning · 12th April 2008 at 7:37 am

I’ve now got an anonymous comment telling me more details of the ‘research’ and it just gets worse. I have written to the BMJ and await the outcome. I also wrote to Wallace saying that – yes – they should do better and – yes – I would help as much as I could.

paul canning · 13th April 2008 at 10:10 am

The whole text of the research is now accessible online. Funny that.

Shane McCracken · 14th April 2008 at 1:54 pm

I guess the BMJ is more web responsive than SANE.

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