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Suicide: Internet

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 20634, tabled on 25 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to tackle suicide chat forums since the death of Callie Lewis.

Answered on

5 March 2020

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. As part of our plans, companies will be required to take action to address harmful suicide and self-harm content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming, including encouragement of self-harm and suicide.

There are already arrangements between companies and charities to improve the identification and removal of content when it is reported, and services that signpost help and supportive content to users. The Samaritans has a strategic partnership with social media companies and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The partnership works together to set guidance on moderating suicide and self-harm content, and supporting users to stay safe online.