SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Harmful suicide-related information was found to be easily accessible by users on social media websites, particularly on Instagram, where the greatest number of posts regarding such information was found.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare in association with police officials and the Korea Suicide Prevention Center said yesterday that over 17,338 cases of harmful posts regarding suicide were reported, thanks to a public campaign aimed at cleaning up the web that took place between August 18 and 31.
Postings of photos and videos relating to suicide were the most frequently posted online material, accounting for a total of 8,039 cases (46.6 percent) followed by information on suicide methods (4,566 cases, 26.3 percent), posts encouraging suicide (2,471 cases, 14.3 percent), posts recruiting members for joint suicide (1,462 cases, 8.4 percent), and posts selling toxic substances (800 cases, 4.6 percent).
The information was widely found on social media websites (77.3 percent), online communities (8.9 percent), and portal websites (3.5 percent).
Han Chang-su, the head of the Korea Suicide Prevention Center, said that the organization will cooperate further with the Korea Communications Standards Commission and Internet providers to continue to delete harmful information found online.
Of the reported cases, 5,957 posts have already been deleted.
Police have tracked down individuals who uploaded four online posts forecasting possible suicide, and have put them in touch with counselors at the Suicide Prevention Center.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)