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MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Rising teenage suicides as a result of adverse information available on social media internet has been increasingly worrying Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC). That is what IC spokesman Vladimir Markin stressed on Wednesday.
During the most recent IC session on preventing suicides among teens and underage minors, Markin said: "Considering that the situation is egged on by internet media buzzing about teen suicides as a certain popular ‘trend’ encouraging teenagers to follow along, the session’s participants agreed that it is necessary to consider assigning control over ‘suicidal’ content on the internet to a government agency."
At the same time, committee members also "came to the conclusion that it is necessary to create incentives to stimulate telecom operators and hosting providers to have their services comply with security requirements and be free from illicit content," the IC spokesman added.
Teen suicides totaled 685 in 2015
"By evaluating the situation, we ascertained a high number of teen suicides in Russia. A total of 685 cases were registered last year. Suicides are often committed under the influence of social media and other internet resources," Markin said.
During the IC session on fighting teen suicide, participants noted "a legal gap in the Criminal Code that fails to hold criminal accountability for encouraging suicide (so far accountability includes threats, violence or systematic humiliation)." In this regards, IC representatives "consider it appropriate to consider the amending legislation and initiating criminal responsibility for encouraging or facilitating the suicide of a minor," Markin noted.
An inter-departmental working group will be established to take action to stop teen suicides. The group will include representatives from the Interior Ministry, the consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor; media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, the Ministry of Education, and from the Health Ministry.