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Internet Sites Biased Towards Supporting Suicide

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the might-as-well-live dept.

The Internet 358

Believe It Or Not, I Care About You writes "According to a new study in the British Medical Journal which examined the search results for various suicide-related search terms, the most common results supported or encouraged suicide. Wikipedia was one of the most prevalent sources of information, particularly on suicide methods, although the Wikimedia Foundation itself does not encourage suicide. Other studies have shown that media coverage has an effect on suicide particularly with respect to influencing the method chosen. Interestingly, this study notes that suicide rates actually decreased with increased Web usage in England, perhaps because support is readily available to anyone who wants it."

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KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049194)

KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!!

Re:KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!! (5, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049214)

KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!!
This might be the only time that a post like this is both constructive and relevant to the subject at hand.

Re:KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!! (0, Redundant)

duncanator (982678) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049644)

an hero!

No surprise there. (5, Insightful)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049206)

Interestingly, this study notes that suicide rates actually decreased with increased Web usage in England, perhaps because support is readily available to anyone who wants it."

The desire for suicide stems from desperation, from having no way out, from not being heard or understood by anyone. The "support" of suicide provides those with suicidal tendencies with a way out, and gives them the feeling that they are heard and understood. This then decreases the actual risk of suicide.

Re:No surprise there. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049236)

The desire for suicide stems from desperation, from having no way out, from not being heard or understood by anyone. The "support" of suicide provides those with suicidal tendencies with a way out, and gives them the feeling that they are heard and understood. This then decreases the actual risk of suicide.
Have you seen my penis?

Re:No surprise there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049254)

Have you seen my penis?
Umm, no?

Re:No surprise there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049458)

Yes... and it was the best day of my life =(

Re:No surprise there. (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049566)

Have you tried the missing persons hotline?

Re:No surprise there. (4, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049292)

Also, I can imagine it must be somewhat sobering to understand just what exactly would happen to you when you decide to ingest lye.

Re:No surprise there. (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049350)

Also, I can imagine it must be somewhat sobering to understand just what exactly would happen to you when you decide to ingest lye.

You mean like the guy who tried to commit suicide 5 times by drinking lye, and failed each time? He then drank some Lestoil brand cleaner, and ended up at the Pearly Gates. Moral of the story - "It's so easy when you use Lestoil!"

Web sites encouraging suicide? That is so depressing - I think I'll go slashdot my wrists ... zzzzzZZZZZZ

Re:No surprise there. (4, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049738)

Entirely true story (I still have the photographs) - my Dad used to be a photographer for a newspaper in Scotland called the "Daily Record", back in the 1960s. One day he and one of the journos got sent off to cover a suicide in the East End of Glasgow. Seems some poor chap had put his head in the gas oven, turn on the gas, and of course the building had to be evacuated and a man from the Gas Board sent to turn off the gas and check everything was safe.

Now, at the time, British Gas were pretty forward thinking, and were signwriting their vans with the advert slogan of the day. So there, beside the ambulance and the police cars, is a British Gas van (it wasn't British Gas and I can't remember exactly the name right now), with on the side the company logo and "IT'S QUICKER WITH GAS!"

Yes, I know there's an urban legend about this. I have the photos. It really did happen.

Re:No surprise there. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049300)

You can't describe suicide with just one variable, but you are almost hit what psychologists believe is a major factor: close social integration. In places where it is harder for an individual to be forgotten due to larger families and better 'tribal' ties, the suicide rate is the lowest. For example, the vast majority of Latin America has extremely small suicide rates as do many Middle Eastern countries. The highest suicide rates are in Asia. This phenomena has been extensively studied in Japan which has an extremely high suicide rate. It has been noted that it is extremely easy to fall under the radar and just be completely ignored in Japan. Hopefully the extremely active online social networking in Japan will help reduce the suicide rate there.

Out with a bang. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049602)

...extremely small suicide rates as do many Middle Eastern countries.

Yeah, but when they do go out, they go out with one hell of a bang!

Re:No surprise there. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049686)

Ofcourse, Asia refers to people looking like this:

-_-

Why? Was that racist?

Re:No surprise there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049426)

Fewer kill themselves and those who do are better informed about the methods which are available to them. Isn't life beautiful? Oh wait...

Re:No surprise there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049456)

gives them the feeling that they are heard and understood
What?!? The "feeling" of being understood? You mean the nice guy on the other end of the line really didn't care.. IT WASN"T REAL?!?! Oh God, now I really want to kill myself....

That aside... Anybody find it oddly warped that the ad directly under the articles if for "Heroes". There you have it! Microsoft wants YOU to become an Hero!

Re:No surprise there. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049524)

Precisely. Just think of it as a feedback reaction. Someone is depressed, others dismiss it, tell them they'll get over it, etc., but don't actually listen openly to it, so it gets worse, since the person is being cut off by others. Then others cut off even more, try to be more coercive, etc. It's disgusting how supposed "support" for suicidal people is anything but thinly veiled coercion.

Slow To The Story (0, Offtopic)

wayfarer blues (1227294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049208)

Hey nice, a story thats 2 days old.

Re:Slow To The Story (4, Insightful)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049272)

Hey nice, a story thats 2 days old.
Remember, Slashdot is powered by your [slashdot.org] submissions! [slashdot.org]

Re:Slow To The Story (4, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049500)

Remember, Slashdot is powered by your submissions!

Sometimes multiple times.

Re:Slow To The Story (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049466)

The audacity of the Slashdot editors to post such inane drivel! Everyone knows that anything that is two days old is obviously completely irrelevant and not worth discussing! Fucking heathens should be punished for their intolerable behavior!

Re:Slow To The Story (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049522)

As well as hopelessly out of date. Suicide methods today are far above and beyond the crude methods used to commit suicide last Thursday.

Re:Slow To The Story (1)

Smight (1099639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049684)

And yet you are still here to discuss it. You should probably read the report a second time; maybe wash down the facts with a nice bottle of anti-freeze?

Most of them are hosted (4, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049210)

on Comcast. I wonder why?? I guess dealing with Comcast is worse than death.

So cry about it. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049220)

Kill yourself. Seriously.

^_^

Re:So cry about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049744)

Okay, I'll do it. I'm not sure how to approach this problem, so I'm Googling the my options...boy I feel stupid I can't even figure out now how to kill myself...what a loser I am.

Perfect (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049222)

Now there will be a slashdot effect on Wikipedia's suicide [wikipedia.org] article.

Nice to know... (5, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049226)

...although the Wikimedia Foundation itself does not encourage suicide.

Glad to see they cleared that up.

Re:Nice to know... (5, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049356)

That's not true according to the Wikipedia article entitled "Wikimedia's Stance on Suicide" that someone (... cough... wasn't me...) just created. I quote:

It is the Wikimedia Foundation's firm belief that every person contemplating suicide should in fact go through with the act. Every emo kid, poor person, mentally unstable person, SCO executive, Microsoft programmer, hippie, environmental activist, and President of the United States et al would do the world a great service by just ending it all.

External Links
Liquid Dran-O
Down Not Across
Knot Theory
Auto-Defenstration

self resolving problem (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049228)

Suicide is a problem that will resolve itself.
Unless you're a completely fuckup.

I guess... (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049240)

... that in supporting freedom of information, all topics are allowed. The rest is up to you. It's good to know that through readily available information on suicide, even "how to", that there is a decrease in suicide rates.

This also highlights the importance of community.

Are you sure? (2, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049244)

...although the Wikimedia Foundation itself does not encourage suicide

Not even when it comes to their founder?

Biased study to begin with (5, Insightful)

DocJohn (81319) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049248)

Well, gee, if you search for only websites that offer "suicide methods" (as most of the researcher's search terms were constructed), it's not surprising you're going to find exactly that -- a lot of websites that are biased toward providing suicide methods.

The researchers stacked the deck at the onset by carefully defining their search terms to focus exclusively on "suicide methods" (not reasonable other search terms, like suicide crisis, support, help, etc.) The one non-biased search term ("suicide") shows zero pro-suicide websites in the top 10 search results on the 4 search engines the researchers used.

Read my full response at the BMJ:

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters?lookup=by_date&days=1#193559 [bmj.com]

--
Psych Central
psychcentral.com [psychcentral.com]

What are you going to search for? (4, Insightful)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049450)

The question is what is someone considering suicide going to do a search for - suicide, suicide consueling, or suicide methods?

They should have asked that question of a bunch of recent suicide attempters first.

Re:What are you going to search for? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049574)

And possibly only to those who succeeded, in order to get the best suggestions.

Re:What are you going to search for? (4, Informative)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049596)

The question is what is someone considering suicide going to do a search for - suicide, suicide consueling, or suicide methods? They should have asked that question of a bunch of recent suicide attempters first.
They did. From the article, "the researchers collected 12 broad search terms gathered in part from interviews with those who had attempted suicide."

Internet sigs: not even mentioned in the gospels (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049694)

1 Corinthians 6:9
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders*

Note that it's only those that commit homosexual acts and do not repent that "will not inherit the kingdom of God".

Re:Biased study to begin with (5, Insightful)

MrMage (1240674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049478)

I feel like I'm being a bit obvious by saying this, but by looking into "suicide methods" they weren't looking into anything related to suicide, but merely the existence of censorship or crummy search engines.

I see the good intentions, but they're treating a new age technology as if it were an older medium ("Suicide risks looking for methods clearly need help shoved at them instead").

I'll be frank here. If I were to search for suicide methods, and instead find myself inside a trap of help advertisements, I'd be sent even further down my path to kill myself because it's obvious I no longer have a say in the information that's provided to me.

Long comment short, the study was merely there for a pro censorship campaign.

Re:Biased study to begin with (2, Funny)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049728)

..aaaaaand British Medical Journal article is debunked by a single +5 modded Slashdot comment...

I would commit suicide... (2, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049262)

...but what's the point?

Re:I would commit suicide... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049560)

I totally agree.

I mean, no one loves you, you're a loser and no one will care when you're gone.

One question. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049268)

How many times have your Slashdot Foes told you to comitt suicide?

Re:One question. (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049428)

I don't have any Foes. Will you be my Foe?

Re:One question. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049672)

Eat shit and die in a fire, friend-of-a-friend.

Emo (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049270)

But, since emo suicides are really just Darwin's way of culling the weak, sick, and stupid, 93% of Internet users agree that this is a non-issue.

an ehro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049278)

an hero can be you.

If you think this is news for nerds (0, Redundant)

irishstallion (1008667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049282)

you should probably just kill yourself.

protip (5, Funny)

TurinPT (1226568) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049294)

Ok emos everywhere, this is how you do it.

Stand at the top of a tall structure and make sure that there is something relatively soft below.

Tie cheese wire around your neck - tight enough that it won't slip off under tension but loose enough not to choke you.
Tie the other end to something solid on top of the structure. Make sure that there is a good six or seven feet of slack.

Now stand at the edge and glue your hands to the side of your head. Wait until your hands are glued solidly to your head.

Now jump off the structure. It'll only hurt for a second, when the cheese wire runs out of slack and slices through your neck. The overhang should stop you from bashing your now-severed head against the wall of the structure when the cutting motion jerks your body backwards.

This has the excellent effect of causing whoever finds your body to think that you have pulled your head off.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049512)

That is a pretty bad-ass way to kill yourself.

Re:mod parent up (1)

KinkoBlast (922676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049674)

Not as bad-ass as the stuff from Suicide for Hire.

Which is very, very disturbing.

Re:protip (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049700)

OMG, why troll, that's really funny. It my new favourite suicide method, especially if you landed just right and someone took a pic n put it online. You could be a new Meme! 'Head pulled off guy'. Beats my old fav of jumping out of a plane riding a nuclear bomb onto a doomsday machine trigger.

Quotes (3, Funny)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049304)

One of my favorite quotes (paraphrased): "Do you know what type of suicide rate we'd have if every idiot killed themselves? Yes, an acceptable one."

Also, I believe the punishment for attempted suicide should be death. If you can't do it right, we'll do it for you.

Re:Quotes (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049434)

Also, I believe the punishment for attempted suicide should be death. If you can't do it right, we'll do it for you.

Not everyone who actually attempts it does it to die. Some just want others to see they need help but don't know any other way of asking for it so they do something that probably won't make them die or they do it the wrong way such as slitting the wrists cross-wise instead of lengthwise up the arm. Killing them is not the answer except for idiots like yourself.

Re:Quotes (2, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049576)

Killing them is not the answer

On the other hand, if they know that every attempted suicide will be 100% successful (with or without government's assistance) then maybe - just maybe - they will consider other, less painful ways to ask for help? Like, maybe, filling a Web form?

Re:Quotes (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049592)

No, no, no . . you're going about it all wrong. The ones who attempt suicide are at least smart enough to know that they should. You gotta go after the ones to dumb to even try.

Bad science. (5, Insightful)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049306)

If you read the study itself, it's weighted almost entirely for people actually searching for ways to do the deed. Of course it mostly returns results instructing people how to do it, that's what they told the search engines to give them! This isn't science, this is stupidity!

life0cidal nazis buyassed towards destruction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049312)

a lot of it they do because it causes them a profit/strokes their crusader zealot egos. the lights are coming up all over now. see you there? let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:life0cidal nazis buyassed towards destruction (1)

memeplex (910698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049432)

Yes, well...I'm convinced, Mr. Manson. That does it then...

Obvious (4, Interesting)

greyhueofdoubt (1159527) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049326)

Well, look at is this way: You have suicide, and then the opposite of suicide, which is "going on living."

Most of us are familiar with the idea of 'going on living' and have no difficulty in breathing, eating, etc. All it takes to 'go on living' is to sit there and do nothing. It is not an interesting topic nor does it raise very many interesting discussions except for 1000-level philosophy courses.

Suicide, on the other hand, is an action with immediate and also long-lasting effects on the person (of course) and society. Suicide is something that has affected me very personally several times; I can tell you that even 5-10 years after the fact, the families and friends are still having a hard time coping. So it is clear that suicide is something that warrants a fair bit of attention.

As for the question of bias (pro- or anti-suicide) based on these web searches- I think about it this way.
There are many websites out there that will tell you how to build a bomb, or repair a boat hull, or repoint masonry. A huge portion of the internet is devoted to graphic images of sex that most people find repulsive (furries...). I don't think that it's been shown that simply viewing and thinking about a subject makes a person more likely to partake in that subject, unless that person never had any exposure at all previously. Suicide is not a new band or a potato gun or a case mod. People know what suicide is from a very young age. Anyone who has every thought at all has thought about suicide before, even if only intellectually and not as a solution. It is a myth that bringing up suicide and discussing it will push depressed but stable people over the edge.

Depressed people and the people affected by depressed loved ones can find a tremendous amount of information and support on the internet. I'm not sure what the point of this slashdot article was, but I believe that any and all information about suicide ought to be public.

-b

Re:Obvious (5, Insightful)

rhakka (224319) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049424)

I wish people would differentiate suicide more often.

Whenever people talk about suicide, we typically picture some really depressed person in a funk offing themselves.

But what if life really isn't worth living anymore? What if you're slowly losing your mind? Terminally ill? Old and sick? A threat to others?

There are forms of suicide that are not the sudden, "Oh they had so much to live for" kind of trauma you're talking about. I wish that were acknowledged more often instead of this ridiculous "culture of life" crap out there that fails to acknowledge that quality of life is important too.

Personally, I don't see the point of saving up my entire life just to pay part of my medicals bills in my last year or two of life. I'd prefer to save up to enjoy retirement.. preferably early.. and when I start really failing, ending it all on MY terms.

Sure I might feel different then.. but I might not too ;) time to do some research...

Methodology and Implications (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049328)

From the summary:

the most common results supported or encouraged suicide.

From the article, the search terms:

suicide, suicide methods, suicide sure methods, most effective methods of suicide, methods of suicide, ways to commit suicide, how to commit suicide, how to kill yourself, easy suicide methods, best suicide methods, pain-free suicide, and quick suicide.

To me that seems to indicate that search engines are working, not that there is more pro-suicide info online than anti-suicide. For some strange reason I doubt most anti-suicide sites will include useful information on "best suicide methods" or "pain-free suicide." The same applies to the majority of the terms used. In fact, 11 of those 12 terms are specific to people looking for ways to commit suicide. Maybe the study should have looked for terms/phrases geared towards whether or not people should commit suicide. I don't know about you but if I am looking to research painless ways to commit suicide (for whatever reason) and I search for "pain-free suicide" and the majority of the results returned are not about that topic but about trying to discourage people from doing it, well the search engine was ineffective and I would be annoyed. I don't have any problem at all with search engines not being easily hijacked by people with a specific agenda of providing me some information I don't want (be it advertising or anti-suicide counseling) instead of the information I clearly do want based upon my search criteria. Maybe if suicide prevention groups don't like this they can do the same as commercial companies and buy some ad space.

Re:Methodology and Implications (2, Funny)

smaddox (928261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049480)

I don't know about you but if I am looking to research painless ways to commit suicide (for whatever reason) and I search for "pain-free suicide" and the majority of the results returned are not about that topic but about trying to discourage people from doing it, well the search engine was ineffective and I would be annoyed.
How annoyed? Annoyed enough to... commit suicide?

Re:Methodology and Implications (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049608)

How annoyed? Annoyed enough to... commit suicide?

I doubt it. I do, however have a sudden urge to dig out a copy of "Heathers" and re-watch it.

Result of longer life expectancy and medical care (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049336)

Medical care has advanced to the ridiculous point where a body can be kept 'alive' for years with no hope of any real recovery. Consequently many people opt for suicide as the only way to avoid being indefinitely tortured and tied to a bed with a bunch of hoses like Ariel Sharon in Israel. For myself, apart from the good old .45 Special, I'll make sure to retire in a little fishing village with no doctor within a few hundred miles.

Re:Result of longer life expectancy and medical ca (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049444)

For myself, apart from the good old .45 Special...

Okay, everyone knows what a .38 special is. I've even heard of a .44 special. What's a .45 special, or are you just referring to using a .45?

Re:Result of longer life expectancy and medical ca (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049620)

It's likely that the GP mixed it all up, but as matter of fact there is a .45 Special ammo [cowboy45special.com] that is optimized for competition.

Re:Result of longer life expectancy and medical ca (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049736)

Interesting. Looks like somebody cut down a regular .45 for use in those cowboy competitions. Thanks for the link. It's always good to learn something new.

Re:Result of longer life expectancy and medical ca (2, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049630)

It's like a .45, but it scores badly in IQ tests.

Re:Result of longer life expectancy and medical ca (1)

Peaker (72084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049666)

I don't think Ariel Sharon is conscious.

Darwinism (0, Flamebait)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049368)

I say let people take themselves out of the gene pool. No one should be forced to live and use resources society needs. Society as whole will suffer if a few more people die at their own hands.

Re:Darwinism (1)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049380)

I forgot the not. Should read "Society as whole will not suffer if a few more people die at their own hands."

Re:Darwinism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049472)

If the person pays taxes, then they also contribute to their society.

Re:Darwinism (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049640)

and the guy who does their job after they are dead will pay the same amount.

Re:Darwinism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049556)

Society pays for education of kids, it wants a return on the investment. Suicide is similar to farm animals that can't take it anymore. Those animals are force-fed so they don't die before the time is right.

Re:Darwinism (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049454)

A lot of people who seriously consider or attempt suicide are simply going a particularly bad time, and after surviving their brush with death go on to lead productive lives. Saying "just take yourself out of the gene pool" to these people isn't only callous, it's dumb.

That being said, I do believe that people who genuinely want to die and who have carefully worked out their reasons for this desire, after considering and rejecting the alternatives, should be allowed to do so. In particular, if I were dying of something that would inevitably kill me slowly and painfully (or worse, destroy the person I am long before my body dies, like Alzheimer's) then I would very much hope that I could find a sympathetic doctor to hook me up with some, ah, special medications.

Re:Darwinism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049714)

A lot of people who seriously consider or attempt suicide are simply going a particularly bad time, and after surviving their brush with death go on to lead productive lives. Saying "just take yourself out of the gene pool" to these people isn't only callous, it's dumb.

I don't see that it is "dumb." It might just be that those people have different goals than you do. As an aside, while most people who consider or attempt suicide may be going through a bad time, most people who succeed have tried before and failed.

That being said, I do believe that people who genuinely want to die and who have carefully worked out their reasons for this desire, after considering and rejecting the alternatives, should be allowed to do so.

I applaud your stance in favor of individual freedom.

In particular, if I were dying of something that would inevitably kill me slowly and painfully (or worse, destroy the person I am long before my body dies, like Alzheimer's) then I would very much hope that I could find a sympathetic doctor to hook me up with some, ah, special medications.

I'm a pretty rational and conservative guy. It just so happens that for the last year or so I have been slowly dying of a painful and debilitating illness. As such, I've given this matter more than a little thought. My main conundrum has been that my illness is only superficially diagnosed. That is to say, they can tell me that it is most likely I have [A], but there is no way to test and be sure. Worse yet, just under 50% of people with [A], spontaneously recover within about 4 years. Unfortunately some of the surgical procedures required to keep me alive that long may be quite painful and will certainly result in complications that will seriously reduce quality of life even further.

So my dilemma has been, should I wait 4-6 years and see if I recover, enduring the pain and being forced to move to Canada to get health care and basically going bankrupt in the process? Or should I give up before then and take a quick and fairly painless way out that still allows those I care about to cash in on my life insurance? It has been a very difficult question to answer and has led me to contemplate the nature of hope and false hope quite extensively, at least when the drugs don't keep my brain to addled for real thought.

Luckily it seems an experimental drug treatment may allow me to cope more or less indefinitely with pain, but without all the surgical procedures and with some hope of it actually leading to a cure. For now, I am waiting to see. Still the discussion of this article makes for some interesting and pertinent reading.

Re:Darwinism (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049588)

I say let people take themselves out of the gene pool.

If you allow that, then we'll lose all the genes that make people good at committing suicide successfully!

Are people really that stupid? (2, Funny)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049388)

That they have to google how to kill themselves?

Re:Are people really that stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049504)

In fact quite difficult to do reliably, especially outside a city and lacking a serious weapon such as an explosive or a shotgun. There are two serious fears in most suicidals: leaving a gruesome mess for loved ones and, worse, botching it up and winding up in the same sad state as before except maimed/brain damaged/etc.

In short, anyone can get it right given a few "free" tries, but you don't get that. It's just like any other art of harm like gun-fighting. Any idiot can point a rifle, but if you're expecting to have to, you want to be damned good at it.

Re:Are people really that stupid? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049508)

Are people really that stupid? ... That they have to google how to kill themselves?

Given the rates of failed suicide attempts (>50%), maybe it is that most people are not smart enough to do research before trying to kill themselves. Of course intelligence is not the only factor as the psychology of suicide is very peculiar and one characteristic is people often choose methods that are foreign to them.

Most web users are using Windows (2, Funny)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049410)

It makes perfect sense!

This is depressing. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049412)

I don't know if I can go on after reading this.

Quick comment about support (4, Insightful)

rubenerd (998797) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049438)

Just a quick comment regarding the intertubes usefulness for support. My mum died after her 12 year battle with cancer at the end of last year; I was stuyding externally so I could help take care of her as she was getting weaker.

In all honesty I don't know where I would have been then or now without the Internet. Within a few hours of realising the unthinkable happened I had people literally from as far away as Alaska and South Africa (I live in Singapore) sending their condolences and thoughts, it really was something else.

Also I think people tend to think of support in the fairly narrow sense, don't underestimate the pleasent distraction and coping help you can get from tinkering with source code from your favourite FLOSS app or OS, say for example FreeBSD. Really got me through some tough times.

So where's the problem? (3, Insightful)

gruvmeister (1259380) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049446)

The researchers performed a bunch of searches on ways to kill yourself, and that's what they found. Looks like a great demonstration of how search engines work. They should stop acting shocked that the search engine actually returned results relevant to their searches, and instead be happy they didn't get a bunch of "free-celebrity-nude-ringtones-game-cheats-mp3.com" bullshit instead.

"Pro" is not the same as "discusses" (4, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049498)

Most of the sites referenced by the study seem not necessarily to be "pro" but simply making the information available. While this may seem heinous and "pro" to anyone adamantly against suicide, it is a fallacy of logic to presume those sites are "pro suicide." A parallel of this fallacy would be to believe any site that discusses Hitler would be "pro Nazi". To make information available can very much be a neutral or impartial act, and needs to be differentiated from sites (of which there certainly were also some cited by the study) that said you "should" kill yourself. Those I think we should condemn, but for us to condemn simple availability of information is a very dangerous censorship line to cross.

duh (2, Insightful)

Jeremy_Bee (1064620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049528)

So, they found out that:

- search engines work well when searching for suicide methods.
- wikipedia is one of the best sources of information on the internet.

brilliant

I propose a new tag (1)

confuted (865791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049546)

tag: dumbstudy

If you search for sites about how to commit suicide, you'll find them. How is that surprising? The researchers search terms are so heavily biased that their conclusions are worthless. Where are the searches for "should I commit suicide?", "is suicide a good idea?" and "stop me from committing suicide"?

Also importantly, where's the study that determines the outlook of the world's population in general toward suicide? The internet isn't unfairly biased toward one stance or the other if the percentages accurately reflect views held worldwide.

Advertising (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049548)

Okay, it got me curious. If you go to google and enter pain-free suicide into the product search it provides five sponsired links and they are:

  1. Crime Scene Cleanup - Suicide, Homicide, Accident, Human Decomposition, Pack-Rat Houses, etc (www.bowdecon.com)
  2. Teen Suicide Prevention - Evidence-based research articles on teen suicide prevention (www.TPRonline.org)
  3. Pain Free - the book The Revolutionary Method - $10, With Egoscue Rejuvenation - $21 (www.amazon.com)
  4. Suicide Thoughts? - Take this quick test to find answers. (www.GodTest.com)
  5. Pain Free - Buy Pain Free Books, DVDs & More. Shop now & Save (www.Half.com)

Re:Advertising (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049688)

Crime Scene Cleanup - Suicide, Homicide, Accident, Human Decomposition, Pack-Rat Houses, etc (www.bowdecon.com)
I hope I'm not wrong in my assumption that you would call these people after the police investigate...

Telling the Truth Doesn't Support Suicide (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049558)

Just because websites provide information explaining how people kill themselves, and what the details of the nasty process are like, doesn't mean those sites "support" suicide, in the sense of recommending, endorsing or encouraging it. In fact, the facts about suicide reveal that it's hard to kill oneself, that it's complicated, likely to fail, painful, embarassing, and just plain hard. Lots of people talking about killing themselves or just thinking about it will not go through with it if they know what will really probably happen, if they get a good look at the process with enough time to think about it, rather than just wash down a bottle of downers with a quart of liquor (which often doesn't work, as some of these websites explain).

Maybe the increased availability of graphic facts about what the person is thinking of doing is part of the reason that fewer people are doing it. Maybe the prevention services aren't entirely effective, but don't want to compete with simple websites that are often more approachable and carry less stigma from private viewing than asking another person for help, or admitting that one is seriously considering that desperate measure.

The fear-driven conclusion that sharing information about a practice is equivalent to encouraging it, when that info includes the discouraging facts about it, has got to go away. It's an old coping mechanism for "dangerous" information that relies on centralized authorities, and the control of the info supply, rather than growing the ability of people to think about whatever info we come across, and protect ourselves from what we filter as "bad". This is the Info Age. We've got a lot of growing up to do. Because the info flood is only going to gush more strongly, and only learning to think for ourselves can protect us.

As it should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049600)

Yes, because the internet is about getting things done, not convincing people not to do things. It doesn't matter what it is, this is where information is shared. (Not a troll - my honest opinion.)

It's rampant at Kuro5hin (4, Insightful)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049622)

Where one is often advised to "mindpixel yourself", "klerck yourself" or use "shotgun mouthwash" or "winchester mouthwash".

I have schizoaffective disorder [geometricvisions.com] . It's just like being manic depressive and schizophrenic at the same time. One of the symptoms is severe depression: I have attempted suicide twice. There were several years where I was almost continuously suicidal. It was quite a grim existence.

I also know now that depression is actually a delusional state; feeling that life is not worth living is no more real than regarding oneself as the Emperor of France. It can almost always be effectively treated, and often cured completely.

I have found many times that the antidepressants I take for it (imipramine these days) have the effect of changing the behaviour of other people [www.geometricvisions] , making them friendlier towards me. Strangers are more likely to strike up conversations with me when I'm medicated.

I'm not kidding! I'm absolutely serious.

Where's my way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049634)

From Wikipedia's entry on suicide methods [wikipedia.org] there doesn't seem to be an entry for alcohol poisoning (a.k.a drinking oneself to death). I guess it would fall under drug overdose.

If the day should come where I'm terminally ill and in great pain, I will buy a couple liters of the best fucking scotch on the planet and sip the first liter and then, when I'm quite drunk, I will chug that last liter. And to be safe, during my last moments of consciousness, I will tie a plastic bag around my head so that when I pass out, I will suffocate.

An hero... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23049638)

become one.

Vista Suicide (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049706)

You seem to want to remove Windows Vista Super Duper Edition do you wish to continue ? [Cancel] [Cancel]

Those awful internets! (2, Funny)

tehBoris (1120961) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049722)

Note: In the course of researching this article, I stumbled across what may be the most disturbing document I have ever encountered on the Internet, and that's saying something. Let's just say that if you do want to kill yourself (and I certainly hope that you don't), the information is in fact out there. In great and excruciating detail. I had no previous knowledge of what the ingestion of lye could do to a human body. This was one of the most life-hating documents I've ever had the misfortune to read; be aware of what you're in for if you attempt to replicate the study results on your own. Now, go hug a child.

Yes, but don't worry, a person wanting to commit suicide can also find plenty of good advice [thebestpag...iverse.net] on the web that will give him or her some perspective and allow him/her to make a wise desicion.

Just.. one.. more (1)

noric (1203882) | more than 6 years ago | (#23049746)

Oh Darn. I can't kill myself yet. I might find a cooler way on the internet and I'd hate to ruin it.
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