Ready, Fire, Aim! - Mihail's Public Blog: The power of the Internet

Friday, February 11, 2005

The power of the Internet

The power of the Internet is huge. It can be used for good, for support of others who're isolated or far away from physical support groups, as seen in the recent use of blogs after the Tsunami and as seen every day on Blogit, but it can also be used to prey on those who're not doing so well and susceptible to the idea of suicide. According to this SF Chronicle story, an Oregon man was arrested for planning a mass suicide of 32 people including himself on Valentine's Day:

Detectives learned of the plan from a woman in Canada who said she saw the message in a Yahoo chat room that had the words "Suicide Ideology" in the title.

The woman, who was not identified by authorities, told detectives she was going to take part in the suicide but had second thoughts when another chat room participant said she would do it and talked about killing her two children before taking her own life, said Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger.

...The chat room participants planned to log in on Valentine's Day and commit suicide while keeping in touch over the Internet, Evinger said. The chat room is no longer active.

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