A new study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how news stories on Facebook adhere to suicide reporting guidelines and their engagement on the platform. Led by CDC researchers with support of Facebook researchers, the report is part of the CDC’s work to understand the impact of safe suicide-reporting on social media.
Key findings include the following:
Leading suicide prevention organizations and health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created guidelines for news organizations to cover suicide more responsibly, such as those presented on reportingonsuicide.org. Their goal is to reduce sensationalism around suicide and prevent exposure to content that may trigger vulnerable people, such as providing a description of the method used or the location where it took place. The guidelines also recommend including resources for people in crisis, such as suicide helplines. See the full report here.