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Media Coverage of a Celebrity Suicide Could Bring a Large-Scale Copycat Effect

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  September 3, 2014 at 2:51 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
Media coverage of the suicide of a national actress in South Korea and its impact on subsequent suicides was analysed by researchers. They found that the number of suicide-related articles surged around 80 times in the week after a suicide compared with the week prior.
 Media Coverage of a Celebrity Suicide Could Bring a Large-Scale Copycat Effect
Media Coverage of a Celebrity Suicide Could Bring a Large-Scale Copycat Effect
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Many articles (37.1%) violated several critical items on the World Health Organization suicide reporting guidelines, like containing a detailed suicide method. The investigators estimated that there were approximately 430 excess suicides during the 4 weeks after her death due to media coverage.

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"This figure is the largest record of cases relating to copycat suicides that has been reported to academic journals," said Weon-Young Lee, co-author of the Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior study. "Most gender and age subgroups were at significantly higher risk of suicide."

Source: Eurekalert
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