Block self-harm material: UK minister tells Google, Facebook

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London, Dec 24 (IANS) Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter must take steps to block the spread of material that tells people how to end their lives, Britain’s minister for suicide prevention has demanded.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Jackie Doyle-Price said that sites like Wikipedia, Google, Facebook and Twitter were behaving like “unruly teenagers” who had to be “dragged, kicking and screaming” into taking action.

She was appointed as Britain’s first suicide prevention minister in October, The Daily Mail reported on Monday.

Internet giants should treat self-harm methods in the same way they tackle online extremist content, the minister said in the interview, adding that the companies could face regulation if they fail to take action on such material.

“Publicising methods of how to take your own life are just as irresponsible as publishing hate videos and terrorism videos. It’s the same thing; it leads to death and it leads to death that is preventable,” the minister was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

The minister also revealed plans to expand mental health services for children in Britain which would also help combat mental distress.



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