Internet and emerging suicide method. A case study of contagion of charcoal burning suicides via the internet
King-Wa Fu(1), Paul W. C. Wong(2), Paul S. F. Yip(2)
(1)Journalism and Media Studies Centre & Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China; (2)Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China
Internet and Suicide. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009, 452 pages.
This chapter aims to address the role of contagion of the Internet in the adoption of specific way of dying of suicidal people. It first reviews the current literatures and case reports indicating some suicidal people’s choices of suicide method(s) are associated with their prior exposure to the web contents of one or more than one specific method(s). Second, this chapter reports a case of contagion of a novel method of self-killing, charcoal burning suicide, which was originated in Hong Kong and then spread across several Asian countries. This case study demonstrates the potential contagious effects of the Internet on the emergence of charcoal burning suicides. Finally, the theoretical explanations and the preventive measures are discussed. Future research directions are also suggested.