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Digital Promotion of Suicide: A Platform-Level Ethical Analysis

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael; Lehman-Wilzig, Sam


Sam Lehman-Wilzig


This article utilizes Aristotelian and Kantian philosophies to probe the social responsibilities of internet intermediaries that in one way or another assist and promote suicide. Striking a balance between freedom of expression and social responsibility, it is argued that several actors should be involved in restricting or eliminating live-streaming suicide, sites that encourage and facilitate suicide, and insult forums that drive people, especially adolescents, to take their own lives. The remediating actors are: commercial social media/website owners through their moderators; voluntary, non-profit, NGO “public defenders”; internet platform providers; regulatory agencies based on legislative authority, and advertisers. Practical remedies are suggested for each of these actors, noting as well important exceptions and caveats regarding the respective solutions.


Cohen-Almagor, R., & Lehman-Wilzig, S. (2022). Digital Promotion of Suicide: A Platform-Level Ethical Analysis. Journal of Media Ethics,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 17, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Apr 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality
Print ISSN 2373-6992
Electronic ISSN 2373-700X
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Philosophy; Communication; suicide; internet; free speech; social responsibility; social media; Aristotle; Kant
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Published article (1.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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