This is a discussion on 'Suicide websites' to be banned following links to a string of young deaths within the Politics, Government & Economics anti misandry forums, part of the Closed Forums category; From the Daily Mail: 'Suicide websites' to be banned following links to a string of young deaths... but new law ...
From the Daily Mail: 'Suicide websites' to be banned following links to a string of young deaths... but new law won't affect foreign sites
How long before the government decides to ban men's rights websites?
Suicide websites are to be banned outright following their links to a string of young deaths.
The law will be rewritten to leave no doubt that they are illegal, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday.
It is already outlawed under the 1961 Suicide Act to promote suicide, but no website operator has been prosecuted under the Act.
As the law is so old, it has been wrongly assumed that a person can be prosecuted only for encouraging someone to take his or her own life in a face-to-face meeting.
Officials said the law would be amended to make it clear it applies online, and to help internet service providers police the sites they host.
However, many of the websites blamed for encouraging children to kill themselves are based overseas, particularly in the U. S.
Campaigners fear those running these websites will pay little or no notice to the move.
Websites which encourage teenagers to commit suicide or carry information on suicide techniques have been implicated in dozens of teenage deaths.
A spate of suicides in the Bridgend area of South Wales prompted fears that they used the web to plan their actions.
A recent study found there are more websites suggesting ways to commit suicide than those which try to dissuade suicidal thoughts.
Justice Minister Maria Eagle admits there is 'no magic solution' to protecting vulnerable internet users
Almost half of sites contain details on how to commit suicide while one in five hits are for dedicated suicide sites.
The move follows a report by parenting expert Tanya Byron for the Government on child safety on the web. Her study, Safer Children In A Digital World, found there was confusion about how the law applies to websites promoting suicide.
Ms Eagle said she hoped the changes would be in force by next year but warned there are 'inherent difficulties' with policing suicide websites as most are based overseas. This makes it difficult to ban such sites outright.
The Minister added: 'The law is adequate but it's confusing and difficult to understand. The changes will help everyone understand what is lawful and what isn't.'
Paul Kelly, trustee of Papyrus, a charity tackling youth suicide, welcomed the move. He said it would encourage Internet Service Providers to be more active in taking down illegal content.
But he warned it was still 'highly unlikely''anyone would be prosecuted. Mr Kelly added: 'In practice it's very easy to encourage others to take their own lives and it's very unlikely they are going to be prosecuted in a court of law.'
Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: 'There is no magic solution to protecting vulnerable people online. Updating the language of the Suicide Act, however, should help to reassure people that the internet is not a lawless environment and that we can meet the challenges of the digital world.
'It is important, particularly in an area of such wide public interest and concern, for the law to be expressed in terms that everyone can understand. We continue to work with the internet industry to look at long-term ways to keep people safe and without jeopardising our freedom of speech.'