Crackdown on ‘suicide websites’

The law on “suicide websites” is to be rewritten to ensure people know they are illegal, the government has said. It follows concerns people searching for information on suicide are more likely to find sites encouraging the act than offering support. It is illegal under the 1961 Suicide Act to promote suicide, but no website operator has been prosecuted. The law will be amended to make clear it applies online and to help service providers police the sites they host. Justice Minister Maria Eagle said there was no “magic solution” to protecting vulnerable people online. In April, the British Medical Journal reported on a study in which researchers used four search engines to look for suicide-related sites. The three most frequently occurring sites were all pro-suicide, prompting researchers to call for anti-suicide web pages to be prioritised. An outright ban on suicide sites would have been unworkable, according to the Samaritans.

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)