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The Internet Science

Internet Sites Biased Towards Supporting Suicide 358

Posted by kdawson
from the might-as-well-live dept.
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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Internet Sites Biased Towards Supporting Suicide

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:22PM (#23049194)
    KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!!
    • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:25PM (#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.
    • by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:57PM (#23049810)
      See it's this kind of humour that is really problematic in today's world, and maybe it should be addressed.

      Don't forget that at one point in time, it was considered acceptable to blame AIDS on homosexuals and make fun of them.

      Maybe if we didn't have so little tolerance or care for people suffering of depression, maybe, and that's a big maybe, maybe it could save a few students from going into a shooting rampage and taking away innocent lives.

      Have you thought about this?
      • by Satan Gave Me a Taco (867050) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @08:24PM (#23050300) Journal

        Don't forget that at one point in time, it was considered acceptable to blame AIDS on homosexuals and make fun of them.
        Sometimes when things seem their darkest, you just need to try to stay HIV-positive.
    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:01PM (#23049842) Homepage Journal
      Bespeak thee alway thine firewood so?
    • Offtopic? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Spy der Mann (805235)

      KILL YOURSELF FAGGOT!!!


      You got the wrong story. This [slashdot.org] is the one you're looking for :P

      (Disclaimer: It's a joke, OK? Don't take it so seriously)
  • No surprise there. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:24PM (#23049206) Homepage

    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.

    • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:35PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tomhudson (43916)

        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

        • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:44PM (#23049738) Homepage
          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.
        • by Dirtside (91468) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @12:21AM (#23051658) Journal

          I think I'll go slashdot my wrists
          That sounds like a euphemism for watching too much porn. (Think about it.)
      • Résumé (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 3-State Bit (225583) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:40PM (#23050070)
        Razors pain you;
        Rivers are damp;
        Acids stain you;
        And drugs cause cramp.
        Guns arent lawful;
        Nooses give;
        Gas smells awful;
        You might as well live.

        (Dorothy Parker)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:36PM (#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.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:19PM (#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:Out with a bang. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2008 @12:15AM (#23051620)
          Funny: Yes.

          But brings up a real question: in the minds of the bomber, Is it really suicide?
          Or is it on par with the (not suicidal) soldier that throws him/herself on the grenade to protect is platoon?

          /AC wants to know
          //knows this is unlikely to be responded to
          • Re:Out with a bang. (Score:4, Informative)

            by oostevo (736441) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @04:48AM (#23052728) Homepage
            That's an extremely good question. To the best of my understanding, no, friends and relatives absolutely never use the word "suicide" when referencing someone blowing themselves up in a conflict. It's exclusively considered martyrdom.

            The best source I can readily find is a documentary about suicide bombing ("The Cult of the Suicide Bomber", which is excellent, by the way), where the narrator interviews the family of Iran's most celebrated martyr, Mohammed Hossein Fahmideh.

            Bob Baer:"I hope you don't mind me asking, but Hossein was the first suicide bomber, wasn't he?"

            Family: "No, not at all. Yes, he did have a very strong belief. He was a martyr. It's impossible to describe him as anything else. A martyr through and through."

            Bob Baer: [aside] "It's interesting, they absolutely reject the word 'suicide', even though there was a 100% chance that he would die. It just does not come into the vocabulary; he is simply a martyr."

            Does that satisfy your curiosity?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stephanruby (542433)

        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.

        Citations please. The last time I had easy everyday access to medical journals, which was around ten years ago, I only found studies citing higher rates of suicide in Japan among the oldest people -- not the rest. Of course, any kind of suicide is still a suicide, but I'm just trying to clarify what seems t

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by darkwhite (139802)
          The WHO [who.int] reports overall suicide rate in Japan to be 36.5/100000 for males and 14.1 for females, versus 17.6 and 4.1 respectively for United States, which averages out to more than 2.5 times higher average suicide rate.

          Kamikazes and seppuku committing samurai have nothing to do with modern suicide rates in Japan. Even comparing the age distributions, Japan leads in suicide rates by a wide margin.
  • by LM741N (258038) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:25PM (#23049210)
    on Comcast. I wonder why?? I guess dealing with Comcast is worse than death.
  • by The Ancients (626689) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:26PM (#23049226) Homepage

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

    Glad to see they cleared that up.

    • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan DOT jared AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:41PM (#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
    • NPOV? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @04:16AM (#23052596) Journal
      The Wikipedia article on Suicide seems to be written in that completely dispassionate, apparently unbiased way that all the better Wikipedia articles are. I suppose they neither encourage nor discourage suicide.

      It thus reflects the rest of the Internet. If you want to join a cult, there's plenty of information out there -- the Church of Scientology has certainly staked out its own turf. If you want to have all kinds of crazy, kinky sex, there's information on where to buy Gor books, on how to safely suffocate someone almost until they pass out, or how, exactly, to apply a whip or crop for maximum pain but minimum actual injury...

      And if you want to commit suicide, you can find out where to get a gun, and how to load it. Or how to hang yourself -- how to set up the drop to be quick and hard enough to snap your neck before you feel any pain.

      And if you want to get out of depression, it'll show you all kinds of prescription pills, psychiatrists, meditation, or simply support groups to help you through it.

      In other words, the Internet itself is neutral -- due to the sheer amount of diversity out there, what the Internet is to you is exactly what you choose for it to be.

      Is that a good thing? Would it be better if Wikipedia actively discouraged suicide?

      Oh, one more thing: What I've found to be effective is simply talking to the person. It doesn't matter what you say, or even too much how you say it. It matters more that you are there -- human contact helps.

      A real example: Someone told me of her plans to commit suicide. I was sick of trying to help her with her almost daily threatening to do so. So instead, I asked her how she was planning to do it. And I criticized her for her technique, and brainstormed a bit with her on more effective ways of killing herself -- quickly, and without mistakes, so she wouldn't wake up in the hospital.

      And after a few minutes of this, she broke out laughing at the absurdity of the situation.

      Remember, kids -- anyone who really wants to end their life can do it, quickly, easily, painlessly -- or painfully, if they like. The fact that they are still alive and still talking to you means they aren't going to go through with it.

      I can only wonder if the Wikipedia article could have anything like that effect... Or if it's just the opposite, if it's too impersonal.
  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@drunksnipe r s .com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:27PM (#23049228) Homepage
    Suicide is a problem that will resolve itself.
    Unless you're a completely fuckup.
  • ... 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.

  • by The Ancients (626689) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:28PM (#23049244) Homepage

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

    Not even when it comes to their founder?

  • by DocJohn (81319) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:28PM (#23049248) Homepage
    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]
    • by Chmcginn (201645) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:56PM (#23049450) Journal
      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.

    • by MrMage (1240674) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:01PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mapkinase (958129)
      ..aaaaaand British Medical Journal article is debunked by a single +5 modded Slashdot comment...
    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @07:07PM (#23049892)
      I cant comment on the bias as I have not seen their methodology, but frankly this is part of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com]. Since Ive been online, using BBSs as a child in the 1980s, Ive noticed that anonymous people are nasty people. Even on sites that go out of their way to be productive and are heavily moderated like ask.metafilter.com you'll see that most answer to social problems are the most dramatic. Should someone get a divorce. Yes. Should someone quit their job? Yes.

        When people are anonymous and dont know the person they are responding to they often will just pick the most extreme solution and go with it. It really takes a decent person to sit back and think of the person they are talking to as a real person, like a friend of loved-one. This kind of thing almost never happens on the internet and I am not surprised to see it when it comes to suicide. Hopefully, the people who are looking up those websites also pick up the phone to a suicide hotline. Funny, how something like a real human voice and real interaction suddenly changes everything.
  • ...but what's the point?
  • How many times have your Slashdot Foes told you to comitt suicide?
  • protip (Score:5, Funny)

    by TurinPT (1226568) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:35PM (#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.
  • Quotes (Score:4, Funny)

    by jeffy210 (214759) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:36PM (#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.
    • 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.
      • by JavaRob (28971)

        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.
        You spelled "too" wrongly. It's a three-letter word.

        Just saying....
        • 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.
          You spelled "too" wrongly. It's a three-letter word. Just saying....
          No he didn't. Just saying... http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000258.htm [englishplus.com]
  • Bad science. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davolfman (1245316) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:37PM (#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!
  • Obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:39PM (#23049326) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rhakka (224319) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:52PM (#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...
      • by jd (1658)
        You make an excellent point. I'd add a qualifier, though. Medical science - as with all science - isn't predictable. A diagnosis isn't necessarily 100% accurate, there can be mix-ups in giving results, apparently spontaneous remissions are recorded, and unexpected cures (as in the case of "Lorenzo's Oil") can be found. Predicting the future is notoriously unreliable and biology is particularly fickle. This is not to say one should always expect an improvement in the quality of life. The qualifiers are rare.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:39PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by smaddox (928261)

      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?
      • 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.

    • 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.

      One would think that would be obvious. The problem is humans have a natural tendency to categorise things, and when a subject is controversial, it's easier to opt for comfort, and narr
      • The problem is humans have a natural tendency to categorise things, and when a subject is controversial, it's easier to opt for comfort, and narrow those categories into classifications using emotional criteria.

        I'm not sure how that relates to my comment. How does human classification of suicide relate to search engines that provide information that does not relate directly to the search terms?

        Complexity requires thinking, and that demands a grasp of the issues and an ability to discuss those issues. By opting for the simple and comfortable we can dispense with all that and choose a position. Given that different people will choose different positions, we end up with a "for it" or "against" false dichotomy, from which arises erroneous notions of bias by the other side.

        Again, I'm not sure I see how this relates to the points I made. People don't have to be for or against suicide in order to be searching for something like "pain-less suicide method." They could be either or neither or undecided or completely uninterested. Maybe they are just researching a painless method so they can ha

  • 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.
    • 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?

    • by Peaker (72084)
      I don't think Ariel Sharon is conscious.
      • by tftp (111690)
        But his inheritors are, and it pains them to see how their cash is being drained into an obviously lifeless body that gains nothing from all that expense.

        Do you personally want to work all your life and save every penny just to lose it all in last few days of your life (instead of giving it to your friends or relatives, or to a decent charity?) Besides, these last days will be enormously painful, physically and emotionally, because you know that death is close. It's pointless and cowardly to delay the i

  • by kaufmanmoore (930593) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:48PM (#23049388)
    That they have to google how to kill themselves?
    • 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.

  • by avandesande (143899) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:51PM (#23049410) Journal
    It makes perfect sense!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know if I can go on after reading this.
  • by rubenerd (998797) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:55PM (#23049438) Homepage

    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.

  • by gruvmeister (1259380) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @05:56PM (#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.
  • by ktappe (747125) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:03PM (#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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremy_Bee (1064620) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:06PM (#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
  • Advertising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:09PM (#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)
    • 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...
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:12PM (#23049558) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:24PM (#23049622) Homepage Journal
    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.

    • I've tried posting on kuro5hin too, but there's this guy there that tries pimping his music [geometricvisions.com] so frequently that I don't know how I can go on living.
  • You seem to want to remove Windows Vista Super Duper Edition do you wish to continue ? [Cancel] [Cancel]
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @06:40PM (#23049720) Homepage
    How to kill yourself like a man [thebestpag...iverse.net]
  • 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

  • this study notes that suicide rates actually decreased with increased Web usage in England

    But here they put people in jail for posting information on suicide. Land of the free, provided you're not contemplating ending your life. And the apparent irony never seems to dawn on anyone. If someone really wants to off themselves, what's the problem?

    If we really had a free country people would be able to kill themselves and broadcast it on national TV.

    Sort of like a political ad I saw tonight where the c

    • Sort of like a political ad I saw tonight where the candidate proclaimed he was "pro life and pro gun". I'm not entirely sure how you reconcile those positions.

      Perhaps by noting that a gun in the hands of a law-abiding citizen can protect the lives of that citizen and their loved ones from violent criminals. It's a very pro-life position to assert a right to self-defense, even if that defense may involve potentially lethal force against your attacker.

      (This is not to say guns aren't without their own dangers - the risk of accidental shootings is higher than the chances it'll save you, at least in many parts of the country. But that's a tradeoff that's going to be

      • by ptbarnett (159784)

        (This is not to say guns aren't without their own dangers - the risk of accidental shootings is higher than the chances it'll save you, at least in many parts of the country.

        When comparing the number of negligent shootings (I refuse to use "accidental", as there's no such thing) to intentional self-defense shootings, the former is indeed higher.

        There are no measurable statistics on the number of times that the presence of a firearm prevented a crime, because no one compiles them (even from police reports). However, even the smallest estimates from surveys far exceeds the number of negligent shootings.

    • by ptbarnett (159784)

      Sort of like a political ad I saw tonight where the candidate proclaimed he was "pro life and pro gun". I'm not entirely sure how you reconcile those positions.

      That's because you apparently interpreted "pro-life" literally, inadvertently or otherwise.

      "Pro-life" is a political term for "opposed to legalized abortion", just as "pro-choice" is a political term for the opposite view.

  • Flamebait? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdb2 (800046) * on Saturday April 12, 2008 @08:15PM (#23050260) Journal
    Maybe the moron that modded this as "Flamebait" should consider the *horrible* emotional suffering that I, and other suicide survivors, experience. This has been the most painful experience in my life -- the suffering is beyond description. Ever heard of sympathy? You'll be wanting it if ever one of your loved ones dies before their time.

    jdb2

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