"At least seven" teenagers in Bridgend, South Wales, have committed suicide recently, the Times of London reported this week, calling them "copycat suicides" and linking them to the teens' social networking. The Guardian, however, reported that both the coroner and police in South Wales "downplayed suggestions that they were investigating an internet 'suicide chain'" as reported in "the tabloids." They said they've taken one of the deceased girls' computer to "build up a picture of what happened" rather than investigate any particular Web site. The coroner, who told The Guardian that "the number of suicides in the area had been increasing 'year on year' over the past three years, also said social-networking sites are "global, so why would they cause an issue in Bridgend in particular?" The Net may've had a role but not a causative one, the Times suggests in its article – maybe a role more like that of traditional media. It cites University of Bristol professor David Gunnell as saying that "research had shown a connection between reports of suicide in the media and copycat deaths, and it was likely that discussions of suicide on websites would have a similar effect."
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
- Kindness really could be going viral! Just look…
- More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments
- Tech can make driving dangerous, but also safer