Current notice: Guidelines to discuss suicide on social media
Engelson, B.J., Bernstein, S.A., Moutier, C.Y., & Gold, J.A.
On January 30, 2022, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst died by suicide. The news of her untimely death spread quickly across all forms of media. Although well-researched media guidelines for safely reporting on suicide have existed for years, journalists broke important rules—such as detailing the method of suicide and including the contents of the note she left.1,2 Social media activity further amplified this problem. While news outlets shared stories with images and triggering language, individual social media users amplified those stories and expressed shock, grief, and condolences via comments and posts of their own. Such social media activity is concerning because discussions about suicide on social media platforms can perpetuate old myths and stigma, and can potentially lead to suicide contagion.