Submissions:2019/Best Practices for Responsible and Reliable Content about Suicide

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2019.


Best Practices for Responsible and Reliable Content about Suicide


Reliability of Information
+ Harassment Civility & Safety

Type of session:

Round Table


Suicide is a complex global problem. Appropriate dissemination of information and awareness-raising are essential elements in the success of suicide prevention. A significant number of people seek out information about self-harm because they want to hurt themselves. Many of them come to Wikipedia to study the topic. Suicide methods article on English Wikipedia has approximately 10 thousand page views per day.

Leading suicide prevention organizations in North America and the UK have noted instances when Wikimedia content is outside best practice guidelines when compared to how almost all reliable sources present self-harm information, to such an extent that the current presentation appears to be enabling people who want to harm themselves, rather than presenting information neutrally.

During this session participants will review current suicide prevention recommendations for the media about writing on the topic of suicide such as a) adding links to help resources such as crisis hotlines b) not directly presenting details about suicide cases c) not providing details about methods that will enable or encourage self harm.

Participants will then discuss existing Wikimedia content that could make self-harm seem attractive to already vulnerable people, or help them choose a method that will lead them to inflict greater harm or risk of death on themselves. Participants will discuss strategies for improving suicide related content and future plans will be made for follow up projects to improve content.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Sydney Poore, Stephen LaPorte, and Sherwin SSiy

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

User:SPoore (WMF), SLaPorte (WMF), SSiy (WMF)

Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia Foundation

Estimated time:

60 minutes

Preferred room size:


Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)