Journal article

The Relationship Between Suicide-Related Twitter Events and Suicides in Ontario From 2015 to 2016

Mark Sinyor, Marissa Williams, Rabia Zaheer, Raisa Loureiro, Jane Pirkis, Marnin J Heisel, Ayal Schaffer, Amy H Cheung, Donald A Redelmeier, Thomas Niederkrotenthaler

CRISIS-THE JOURNAL OF CRISIS INTERVENTION AND SUICIDE PREVENTION | HOGREFE PUBLISHING CORP | Published : 2021

Abstract

Background: Many studies have demonstrated suicide contagion through mainstream journalism; however, few have explored suicide-related social media events and their potential relationship to suicide deaths. Aims: To determine whether Twitter events were associated with changes in subsequent suicides. Methods: Suicide-related Twitter events that garnered at least 100 tweets originating in Ontario, Canada (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) were identified and characterized as putatively "harmful" or "innocuous" based on recommendations for responsible media reporting. The number of suicides in Ontario during the peak of each Twitter event and the subsequent 6 days ("exposure window") was compared..

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Grants

Awarded by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Funding Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (YIG-0-136-15), in addition to the Academic Scholars Awards from the Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.