Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2022). 43(4), 348-351. SIEC No: 20220762
Background: On the Internet, individuals can freely read about or talk to others about suicide. However, little is known about the nature of these online interactions and the potential impact on users. Aims: This study aimed to examine the characteristics of online comments following high-profile celebrity suicide, comparing top-rated comments with controversial comments. Method: Comments from a popular thread on Reddit made following the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were examined using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count and qualitative content analysis. Results: Top-scoring comments were associated with a higher level of authenticity, a higher word count, and a greater focus on the past. These comments were characterized by personal stories of experiences with suicidality or knowing someone who had attempted/died by suicide. Limitations: Our small sample size was underpowered for the linguistic characteristic analyses, and differences in some characteristics may not have been identified. Conclusions: Despite concerns over the potential dangers of the Internet on suicide, it can serve as a place for individuals to share personal stories and obtain support from others.