Objectives: To examine how Twitter is used as a place where people seek others to make suicide pacts. Study design: This is an exploratory quantitative study. Methods: We used Twitter application programming interfaces to collect all Korean tweets containing the term ‘suicide pact’ between October 16, 2017 and November 30, 2017. A Python program and human coders were employed to further identify tweets that aimed to seek others to make a suicide pact and analyze the content of each tweet. Poisson regression analysis was used to examine the characteristics of the tweets that attracted more replies. Results: During the data collection period comprising 43 days, 1702 tweets posted by 551 users were aimed to find others to make suicide pacts. Many of the tweets contained detailed information such as the name of city, gender and age of the user, preferred contact method, and preferred gender of a partner. The number of replies to a tweet seeking a suicide pact varied according to the types of the information contained in the tweet. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that Twitter might be an attractive place where people try to meet others to make a suicide pact. Thus, the government should try to prevent cases of suicides caused by suicide pacts made via Twitter.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health