SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — A disturbing number of posts encouraging suicide by introducing possible methods and suicide-pact recruiting have been identified in internet communities and on SNS.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare on August 24, the Korea Suicide Prevention Center and Nuricops, the cybercrime monitoring organization affiliated with the National Police Agency, located 12,108 cases of suicide-related harmful information over a period of two weeks in July, and reported their findings to the police.
Among the harmful information, suicide-encouraging information was found the most with 6,245 cases accounting for 51.6 percent of the total, and recruiting information for suicide pacts was next with 2,413 cases (19.9 percent), followed by 1,677 cases introducing suicide methods (13.8 percent), 1,573 cases of suicide tools such as toxic substances being offered for sale (13 percent) and 210 cases of pictures and video clips relevant to suicide (1.7 percent).
The suicide-encouraging content was posted mostly in online communities (2,683 cases. 42.9 percent) and portal sites (2,336 cases, 37.4 percent) while suicide-pact recruiting was mostly conducted via SNS (2,332 cases, 96.6 percent).
Content introducing suicide methods was most popular on internet communities (1,030 cases, 61.7 percent) and the sale of suicide tools such as toxic substances was mainly conducted on other internet sites (965 cases, 61.3 percent) and on SNS (521 cases, 33.1 percent).
Among the harmful information reported to the police, 5,596 cases were deleted by system operators, with 68.7 percent of suicide method-introducing Information and 23.8 percent of suicide-pact recruiting information expunged.
According to a study conducted by Sogang University professor Yoo Hyeon-jae, 62 percent of Koreans believe that suicide related content on SNS is making a caricature of suicide, which can lead people to think suicide is an option that can be easily taken when facing difficulties.
Nearly the half of the survey respondents (48.8 percent) replied that suicide information on SNS was ‘realistic’ or ‘vivid’.
“There is no effective way to curb the circulation of suicide pact information on SNS. The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the police need to establish closer cooperation to address the issue, and it is important to draw voluntary cooperation from SNS system operators such as Twitter,” said Professor Yoo.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)