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Public urged to pay more attention to online suicide notes

2012/04/15 15:35:48

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) The public should pay more attention to online suicide notes to prevent tragedies from happening, a local group urged Saturday, after reports emerged of several people posting messages or updating their Facebook status before committing suicide.

With the rising popularity of social networking websites, more people may use them to reveal what they think and what they plan to do, said Lee Ming-been, director-general of the Taipei-based Taiwanese Society of Suicidology.

He urged netizens to be more alert to help prevent bad things from happening.

Some of the recent cases were not taken seriously by other users of social networking sites and ended tragically.

"We need to take such messages seriously, show our concern and try to listen and give our support," Lee said.

He also suggested that it was important to help those who post suicidal thoughts get professional counseling.

If a suspicious message or update is seen on Facebook, Taiwan's most popular social networking site, one should either call the police immediately or use one of the website's tools to report what was seen, Lee said.

Reporting such a message can be done on Facebook by going to the drop-down list on the upper right corner of the post in question and choosing "Report story or spam."

Then, click "file a report," before ticking the "violence or harmful behavior" item and choosing "suicidal content" on another drop-down list.

"Such easy steps can sometimes save a precious life," Lee said.

(By James Lee)