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Russian watchdog detects over 23,000 websites that promote suicide

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According to the recent reports by media, in the past five years, Russia’s consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has detected over 23,000 websites which promote suicide or contain information on how to commit suicide.

Rospotrebnadzor in a statement said on Tuesday that since November 1, 2012, Rospotrebnadzor has examined more than 25,000 websites, and 23,700 of them were found containing information about ways to commit suicide or calls for committing suicide.

The watchdog further added that it had worked with law enforcement to exchange information about communities and groups that promote suicidal behaviour among the teenagers and children through the online platform.

Nearly five years ago, the government introduced tough laws restricting access to websites with suicide-related information. Since then, Russian telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor has blocked access to more than 275,000 websites.

Suicide is a significant issue in Russia. However, according to data published by the Russian statistical agency Rosstat, suicide rates had decreased for 14 consecutive years to a 50-year low in 2015.

The majority of them – more than 97,000 websites were blocked on the basis of judicial acts that ruled that the information they contained was banned in Russia. In addition, more than 70,000 websites were banned for promoting drugs. More than 43,000 web pages were banned for offering illegal gambling, while over 38,000 for child pornography and over 25,000 for promoting suicide.
 

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