Our research found that online content can be harmful for some people and that it is far too easy to find.
Every suicide is complex, and our research found that viewing online content related to self-harm or suicide can play a role. But, the evidence is mixed.
For some people looking at this content can increase their risk of suicide or self-harm. But for other people looking at or sharing this content can in fact help them. And we know many people use the internet to access help and support.
What is clear, however, is it’s far too easy to access online content that can be harmful and that many young people aren’t getting the help they need with self-harm - online or offline.
Read more about our research with the University of Bristol.
The UK Government should:
- Lead the international community in establishing a global framework for a suicide-safer internet. This should include the development of international guidelines for the removal of harmful content and on how to support people online.
- Create a code of conduct for online platforms that sets out quality standards for the removal of online harmful content and supporting people online.
- Establish an independent regulator to monitor progress, reporting processes and the timely removal of harmful online content.
- Fund a comprehensive programme of research into the interventions that best protect people online.