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RainAndSadness

RainAndSadness

Administrator
Jun 12, 2018
2,075
Most members who have been active in this forum for a while know that the media has blatantly misrepresented the purpose and philosophy of this forum for years. For example, let's take a look at these articles here.



The titles already give it away and contribute a lot to the public opinion that we are "pro-suicide".

We're more than just a "pro-suicide" forum as the media likes to smear us, very often implying we're some kind of cult. We're a very diverse community with thousands of members, with most of them struggling to the extent that they think about suicide, some more than others, and that results in a wide variety of content, from conversations about recovery and life to discussions around suicide and the right to die. And yes, I strictly reject the claim that we are "pro-suicide," people in our forum recover all the time and when they announce they're doing better, we cheer them on in this community. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] This is just a small selection of threads I've found by doing a 5 minute search on this forum and all of them are members announcing their departure because they found something to live for and in some cases, our community directly contributed to that change. For example, here are two specific threads where members of the forum specifically point out this community has contributed to their recovery, again - with nothing but positive feedback under these threads. Nobody is telling them to change their mind, nobody is encouraging suicide, nobody is frowing upon their decision. It's nothing but compassion and acceptance for someone's decision. This is not pro-suicide. This is pro-choice.


Okay. And there is not one single case that I'm aware of, where someone reported significant improvement of their situation, which then resulted in an overhelmingly negative response to that thread. It just doesn't happen. I gave the examples above. If you can prove me wrong, do it. There are so many threads of people basically announcing 'hey, I'm doing better, SaSu helped me through that journey and I'm going to leave this forum now to enjoy my life' and that's a good thing and these threads are always met with kindness and praise as I've demonstrated above. How does that match the accusation of us being "pro-suicide"? Doesn't this kind of behavior displayed in these threads demonstrate a pro-choice position of the overhelming majority of participating members in our forum? This is direct and irrefutable evidence that this community is not pro-suicide but passionately pro-choice. Furthermore, there is not one thing I've said in the last 5 years that would suggest I'm pro-death or pro-suicide. And I think that's quite significant given I'm the admin of this forum, right. I made very clear that I'm pro-choice and everything I've said so far in my position underlines that notion. I have also made clear towards bad actors who try to exploit this forum that suicide encouragement isn't okay. Sadly, trolls with no intuition and nuance sometimes mistake us for 4chan 2.0 and invade this forum with the intention to cause harm. But there is a difference between encouraging suicide and respecting someone's voluntary and well thought-out choice to exercise their right to die. One is pro-suicide and one is pro-choice. That tiny bit of nuance sadly goes unnoticed by the majority of journalists who report on this forum.

The problem is that most people who cover this forum simply don't understand language. The media suggests we're "pro-suicide" - and that's a position that prefers suicide over all other options, right? That's at least how I understand that word. Being pro-suicide means you think suicide is the right answer to every problem, that you should commit suicide if you're thinking about it, without any second thoughts. And that's how we're framed. But that's just not true, we don't suggest to anyone what's the right decision, that in itself makes us pro-choice per definition. It's up to anyone in this forum to make their own decisions, we don't tell anyone what to do - that's explicitly drawn out in the rules. And what you do with your own life is by the way a deeply personal matter, what decision someone makes in regards to their own welfare is not the business of anyone here and anyone out there either. If you want to live is a question only you can answer. Okay, so it's factually inaccurate to report the entire community, thousands of active members with a diverse background and history, as generally "pro-suicide" - as if we're a homogenic hivemind that all have the same thoughts and ideas, it's simply dehumanizing and insulting. And the philosophy of this forum underlines the fact that we are pro-choice very clearly. So again, the constant reporting of this forum as a pro-suicide forum has no factual basis other than a extreme misunderstanding of what it means to be pro-choice in regards to suicide. And again, recognising and accepting someone's decision to exercise their right to die isn't "pro-suicide" the same way that accepting and recognising someone's decision to (not) have an abortion isn't "pro-(or anti-)abortion" either. It's a "pro-choice" stance in both cases because in both cases you're merely accepting someone's decision and action that are expressions of individual and bodily autonomy. You make the decision, nobody else - that's the philosophy of this forum. And giving you a choice to make your own decisions, even when "destructive" (and that's again a question of perspective), is pro-choice. That's the consequence of a liberal interpretation of individual autonomy. And that alone is the determining factor if a position is pro-choice or forced-anything, such as pro-life or pro-suicide. This forum doesn't make the case that there should be more suicides. In fact we say there should be less suicide but as I've pointed out in my response to the BBC, the methods which are applied to achieve that goal are wrong and cause more harm than good. I've also outlined this here in my most recent thread about SN regulation. But I don't think I have seen a representative amount of members make the case that more suicides are a preferrable outcome, we as a community hope that the lives of people who use this forum improve, of course. That's also the position of every single moderator, by the way. Me included. And I would never promote someone to the position of a moderator who doesn't have the best interest of every single member in mind. I have written countless posts and threads discussing suicide prevention and I have literally begged the media to use this forum as a resource to better understand suicidality. But instead they're demonizing us because that's just easier. Don't get it twisted, the current reporting is a mix of both ideological barriers which prevents people from understanding the purpose of this forum but also straight-up laziness, which prevents people from doing their own investigative research and instead they merely adapt the narrative of other journalists that's and why I'm writing this thread right now.

So again, we're pro-choice. And being pro-choice always comes with an accepting notion for the decision you make, right. When I accept and respect a decision you make, that doesn't mean I encourage that decision. These are differences between encouraging a decision or acknowledging and respecting it. So we're pro-whatever-decision-you-make-for-your-own-life as long as you don't harm anyone else. That's inherently pro-choice and until you demonstrate and explain to us why we're more pro-suicide than pro-choice, why it's logically correct to call an entire community of suicidal people collectively pro-suicide, I will reject any article that follows that narrative and this thread here is going to be the standard response to any future articles that calls us pro-suicide and in the future, any questions about this forum can be answered by reading this thread because it contains all the answers you need to know. I also don't take any journalist seriously who writes obviously biased articles and I have no desire to interact with them. I also hope that answers why knocking on my door is going to be a waste of time... right, Angus?

Next, now that I've outlined that we're pro-choice, I'm going to explain to you why it's the morally correct position. If you want to infringe on someone's individual and bodily autonomy, you need very good reasons - which hopefully is a statement that journalists out there covering this forum agree with. And that applies even more so to a fundamental human right like someone's right to die. Your subjective feeling that someone prolonging their suffering might be the better outcome long-term doesn't outweight the perceived emotional and mental distress of the person who wants to die, so their decision to end said pain is always more important than your demand that they should keep suffering. In other words: you do not override someone's lack of consent to stay alive. You have no right to say that they should have to endure their (physical or mental) pain for your own emotional peace, you have no right to force them. We use the same logic to justify abortion, the needs of someone who seeks out an abortion is more important than your subjective feeling as to why it's wrong to have one. And that's literally the concept of individual autonomy and it's the empathic approach to the question whetever someone has a right to die. Relief from pain is a good thing and we need to stop pretending it's not. Of course, if you don't have any empathy for suicidal people, you'll be unable to see that. And if you've never been suicidal, you have no idea how it feels like to be in that position, to sit on hot coals, to suffer so much that you just want to die. That's why suicidal people hate when non-suicidal people speak for and over us and sadly, that's what the media has been doing all along, constantly infantilizing suicidal people in the process and pretending to act in our best interest as if our input doesn't count, and they're showing us exactly everything that's wrong in our world. We have so many members in this forum, like we literally count 45k registered members at this point and it's concerning that the exchange between journalists who want to understand this forum and members of this forum who agree with the philosophy of this place hasn't happened in 5 years. And that's not our fault, I know that members have reached out to these journalists who call us pro-suicide. The problem is, that they're not interested in interviewing people who could humanize Sanctioned Suicide and justify the existence of this forum, as an alternative to the current oppressive approach that's the status quo when it comes to preventing suicide. On the other hand - the exchange between journalists and people who oppose this forum for very irrational reasons has happened very frequently, and that's the problem. There is an inbalance in the research that's done to understand this forum and represent both sides. In other words, there has been no attempt to understand us, that was never the intent - from the start.

And yes, there are some people, for example staff members, who do not want to give an interview but that's because there has been no attempt so far to accurately portray this forum in good-faith and no sign that these reporters are ready to protect people's privacy. But there are enough people who would be open to given an interview to defend SaSu's existence, for example here and here - but as I said, interviewing people who use this forum and giving them space to talk about the necessacity of a website like this forum would contradict the narrative so it doesn't happen. Again, I reached out to a journalist a few years ago, before I was even a moderator, trying to defend this forum and we did actually talk for almost an hour but they never published that interview.

So yeah, the constant misrepresentation of this forum is annoying but it isn't surprising given the journalists covering this forum aren't interested in objective and factual reporting and instead have always emotionalized and dramatized the conversation around this forum by highlighting the apparent repulsive and outrageous nature of this forum or by posting the names and faces of members who have exercised their right to die, as if their implied opposition (none of them have spoken out against SaSu) to suicide has more value and legitimacy than the needs of those who want to die, while also pushing the reasons why they were suicidal in the first place into the background and focusing on their membership in this forum instead to make the forum look responsible for their decision to end their lives and not the real life problems that haunted them every day. And I think that's disrespectful to the people who have passed away. None of those articles are written with the intention to motivate systemic change and more awareness for things that make suicide an attractive option in the first place, it's all about writing bombastic headlines, shifting the blame to the forum. It's obvious. Why wouldn't these journalists want to talk about the systemic causes of suicide, which is certainly a dry topic and instead make a forum responsible which is merely a symptom of a dysfunctional society? We're not the reason why people want to die. According to the data I've seen, the increase in suicide numbers that so many journalists complain about has started before this forum even existed and most members who make an account here in this forum communicate in their registration that they've been suicidal before, sometimes for years - and that's why they want to join this forum. The forum clearly isn't the problem here. They come to this forum as suicidal people because this place has to offer something that's appealing to them... So wouldn't it be interesting for these journalists to look into the reasons why these members who make an account here were suicidal for years, instead of blaming us? It's quite easy, because it doesn't fit the narrative that we're the bad guys.

Another issue is that a big portion of the journalists who are covering this place get most of their information from people who oppose this forum and these are very often the protagonists of their coverage. These are people who oppose us for ideological reasons and push for legislative change to criminalize this forum because they have lost someone to suicide themselves. The problem is, they do not care about the systemic causes of suicide that drove their loved ones to take drastic measures to escape their pain. What they care about is deplatforming the forum because we're an easy scapegoat. And that makes sense, it's easier to cope with the idea that this forum pushed someone into suicide instead of reflecting and thinking about potential signs for someone's suicidality you might have missed or holding the people in charge (politicans and lawmakers) accountable who are blocking systemic change which would allow struggling people to live under better conditions. And shouldn't that be the goal, create a more compassionate and empathic society that makes people want to stay alive voluntarily instead of relying on coercision to prolong people's lives? There is so much you can do to improve people's lives that doesn't attack people's freedom, right. Not all but the majority of those journalists that have covered us and portrayed us in a very negative light in the past are directly in touch with people who are campaigning to shut us down and sadly they refuse to cover this forum with the same neutrality that's applied for the coverage of other, equally controversial, topics. They throw journalistic standards out the window. Journalists like Angus Crawford, Aisling Murphy and Thomas Daigle have never investigated this community properly because if they did, they would know we're anything but "pro-suicide" - as I've explained above - and they would also know that describing a community with 45'000 total members with one word ("pro-suicide") is the most dishonest thing you could possibly do. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. That's the result of listening to grieving people. What they're experiencing is without a doubt painful but they're not good picks for a level-headed and rational conversation on ethical issues like suicide (prevention) and the right to die. Journalists took the input of these people who want to see the forum gone as reliable information without fact-checking claims and taking into consideration that there might be a certain bias, influenced by emotional pain. And that's how you end up with very one-sided reporting, over and over again. Because again, these people have a very clear interest in framing this forum in the worst way possible and feeding those journalists false information, for example that we allow members to use this forum as a marketplace or that we encourage suicide when none of that is true. Their self-proclaimed goal is to make us disappear - that's obvious when you look their Twitter activity and who they blame for the death of their loves ones. And these opponents of our forum are motivated by very negative emotions and that's why they doxxed members of our forum in the past, something that's always brushed aside when these people are interviewed and portrayed as victims in these articles. For example, Kelli Wilson - who is one of the most vocal opponent of this forum has doxxed a member of our community, Catherine Adenekan has done the same and on top of that celebrated the suicide of a member who has taken their own life, mocking their goodbye thread and Lee Cooper has repeatedly threatened to murder the founders of this forum on Twitter yet they're still seen as credible sources and still featured in their coverage on our forum despite the very obvious fact that they have an agenda and they will do anything necessary - literally walking over corpses at this point - to achieve their goals. They also harassed a trans woman who they mistook for me relentlessly. They make very clear that doxxing suicidal people is part of their playbook. These repulsive actions aren't the topic of this thread but it's important to mention that these people are not credible sources for anything related to this forum. I might dive into their problematic online conduct in more detail in a seperate thread if people are interested in that. But they're vigilantes who take the law into their own hands because we're operating this forum 100% legally and none of their political efforts to deplatform us have paid out. That's why they're harassing and intimidating those who run this forum and those who participate as members. They have every incentive in the world to push a certain narrative and spreading lies and misinformation is part of their strategy.

But it gets even worse. Some of the journalists I've mentioned above are members of the anti-Sanctioned Suicide group on Facebook.

This group was founded by Kelli Wilson, the same person that created the website Fixthe26. The same person who also doxxed a member of our forum as I just mentioned before and the same person who said my predecessor needs to get publicly executed and claimed I'm not a human. Does anyone here think that it's a coincidence that journalists who who call us pro-suicide and mirror the "pro-suicide" narrative without wasting any time to fact-check anything are also members of a Facebook group founded by someone who wants to take down the forum and is on the record encouraging physical violence and doxxing someone who committed suicide one month later? I think that's a very questionable connection there for journalists who are supposed to remain some objectivity.

We also made a Twitter thread about this problematic alliance and Thomas Daigle has since left that group while Aisling Murphy still remains a member. I guess some journalists aren't even pretending to be neutral here. Kelli's Twitter account has been banned as a result of all the harassement towards our community and she is actively evading her ban right now with her new account.

Again, unlike the journalists who write these articles I'm not here to tell you what to think. But I find it very suspicious that journalists who have described us as "pro-suicide" (repeatedly) are in a group of vigilantes trying to take down this forum - with questionable methods - and it looks a bit to me like some people are using their position as "reporters" to act as someone's mouth piece. I don't think it's a coincidence that these articles are written like that. Kelli also never made it a secret that she sends emails to journalists, politicians and authorities to influence the narrative - and she has admitted on Twitter that she doesn't care if the information is correct as long as it furthers their agenda.

That's how badly the coverage around our forum is compromissed, specific individuals were able to take advantage of naive journalists and influence the framing of this website. How could you question the framing of a grieving parent? You don't, you just look at the frontpage of this forum and you know all you need to know - if you're a lazy journalist. So again, journalists covering our forum never tried to understand us and why we exist, there was never any investigative research and an attempt to portray this community fairly. It's also odd that they also never even looked at my post history in this forum. I mean if they aren't interested in obtaining a representative view of our community on subjects like suicide and suicide prevention, something that would debunk the claim that we're pro-suicide, they could at least look at my posts - not that I'm representative in any way but I'm the admin after all, right - if you really wanted to know what's the intention behind a forum, what are the thoughts that went into it, how its existence is justified, you could look at my output and include some of my posts into these articles. There are countless threads and posts that explain my position on suicide. But they don't even do that because it directly contradicts their reporting because I've said plenty of things that highlight the importance of meaningful suicide prevention. And no, infringing on someone's autonomy isn't meaningful suicide prevention

And it's remarkable that journalists covering this forum until 2021 made a big deal out of the fact that the founders identified as incels, evidence that supposedly highlighted the sinister nature of this community [1][2][3][4]. You don't really need to do any investigative research into this community anymore when you can just brush this forum aside as some malicious incel trap and that was the framing on this forum back in the days. But for some reason, now that I'm running this community, backgrounds suddenly aren't important anymore. They've never mentioned my background - that I'm a trans woman. There were so many articles that made their coverage on this forum all about the founders' identification as incels but none of the articles that were released after they stepped down highlighted the fact that I'm suicidal myself and a trans woman, someone who supports left-wing policies. They never mentioned in any of the articles that I'm suffering from mental health issues myself and that this could maybe be the reason why I have a different approach to suicide. Wouldn't that be important context when you cover this forum? Wouldn't that give insight into the why I'm doing this? Yeah, maybe if you point out that the person running this forum is trans and has a long history of struggling with several mental health conditions themselves it would kinda ruin your well crafted narrative about evil incels who run this forum with malicious pro-suicide intentions, right. And that's certainly a reputation that haunts this forum to this day. I think we all know why they media has pretended that I don't exist, in the 2.5 years I've been running this forum, they have mentioned my username once... they're clearly trying to pretend that I don't exist while they still harass and annoy one of the founders, even going so far to camp three days in front of this house just a few months ago when he hasn't been involved in this forum for over 2 years. Because it serves the narrative that we're an evil pro-suicide forum and that's easier to sell when you can make an incel responsible for the existence of this forum because it allows you to just ignore the left-wing, anti-oppressive trans woman who has been suicidal for many years, who supports individual autonomy and meaningful suicide prevention via systemic change. In other words, talking about my background would humanize this community to a degree. It's all tied to their narrative.

And no, I'm not saying these journalists are conspiring together and working out the best way to smear this forum. It's all coming together naturally, lazy journalists talking to the same few dishonest people and other lazy journalists just copy-pasting the narratives of other articles. I mean, if the BBC calls us "pro-suicide", it has to be correct, right? And you can kinda guess their political viewpoints on certain topics when you read their articles and some of those who have reported on us have a very clear opinion on this forum, as you can see here and here and that contributes to their bias. Why else would they be a member of a anti-Sanctioned Suicide Facebook group? I wasn't aware that journalists should have an opinion on subjects they research but it explains why there isn't even an attempt to write nuanced articles. Tony Smith also complimented these vigilantes who harassed members for their 'hard work', again proving that there is a clear opinion on our forum... We're the bad guys, period.

And look, it was no problem for me to debunk the NYT when they wrote an article about our forum and just recently I updated my response to them with more empirical data because that's how I approach these subjects unlike these journalists. I don't just make claims, I try to back them up with data whenever possible. I have also addressed the SN hysteria in another thread. I don't fear to challenge the media and confront myself with their claims, it gives me great joy to dunk on these clowns who imply in their articles that we contribute to a rising suicide rate when they're unable to provide evidence for such claims. And there is also data that indicates easy informational access to resources regarding ways to exercise your right to die (in plain terms how to commit suicide) does not increase the overall suicide rate but it rather influences how people exercise their right to die. And it makes sense, this kind of information only affects those who already made a decision to end their life. People think reading peaceful ways to exercise your right to die somehow makes you magically suicidal and having open access to methods therefore increases the amount of people who end their lives but again, that's not how it works. The media always portrayed the forum as the single most important contributing factor to a member's suicidality but people are already suicidal when they make an account - as I explained above. And it's a voluntary process. Nobody has ever forced someone to sign up on this forum and we don't advertise this forum either. Every single member has a feature on their profile to deactive their account and leave whenever they desire. There is nothing that keeps anyone here who doesn't feel comfortable with the subjects discussed in this forum. And again, we see why people make an account here, there are so many people who describe their lifelong struggles with suicidality, their suffering that's been a part of their entire life and failed attempts to recover as reasons why they want to make an account here. All of this contradicts the idea that people are trapped in some kind of pro-suicide prison, where people are sucked in and unable to leave. The entire premise of the reporting about this forum is based on the misconception that people who stumble upon this forum, healthy people with no struggles at all, magically commit suicide because the content of this forum is literally brainwashing them and the data I've included in my response to the NYT or the BBC does not confirm that idea. In fact it debunks the idea that this forum has any meaningful impact on nationwide suicide numbers, both in the US and in the UK. We don't change the metrics, even if we tried we couldn't. That's the reality.

It's a blatant misrepresentation of how suicide works in its entirety. People make an account here by choice. They participate in this forum voluntarily. And any decision they make for their own life has little to do with this forum. They're conflating causation and correlation. We don't make people think about committing suicide. People who think about commiting suicide make an account here. That's an important difference. But that would again go against the narrative.

It's also weird that the recovery section is invisible to everyone who thinks we're pro-suicide. Maybe I'm hallucinating but pro-suicide communities aren't exactly known for their recovery resources...

And none of those articles covering our forum with sensationalist headlines seem to remember that pro-choice communities have existed as long as the internet, as these articles from 2011 and 2015 prove. It's safe to say that the philosophy of this community will not disappear but re-emerge under a different name if this forum is taken down successfully and no amount of oppression and censorship will change that, as long as fundamental flaws in the treatment of suicidal people aren't addressed. And calling us pro-suicide at this point is merely an admission that you don't want to talk about the real problems.

Last but not least, what's "pro-suicide" seems to be highly subjective. The BBC covered the topic of assisted suicide a few years ago and they were even accused of a pro-suicide bias. It's almost as if people who disagree with the right to die will attack anything that's remotely pro-choice, hm? Utterly ironic though that the BBC was attacked with the exact same slander that we have to endure right now.

We're almost done with my thread but I also want to shed some light on some academic research to further back up my position. For example, this academic paper here, which dives into the ethical dilemma of pro-choice forums, looking at both pro-life and pro-choice viewpoints and at possible solutions for the ideological conflicts that's at play here between both parties.


And, would you look at that, very early in that paper it acknowledges that the media very often describes pro-choice forums as "pro-suicide", combined with calls to shut them down. And that's exactly what's happening here and that's exactly the reason why I'm writing this thread. So again, maybe journalists aren't really doing much research here as pointed out earlier and maybe they're just dismissing this forum as pro-suicide without knowing what they're talking about or what this forum stands for. I can only recommend to read this paper, it's very interesting and it also explores the ethical conflict in communities like ours when it comes to more controversial methods like train rails due to the fact that bystanders and third parties are involved in that method. Very interesting paper and obviously approaching the issue from an open mind - unlike those journalists.
Here are some snippets.​

Screenshotshotstudy
Screenshotshotstudy21
Screenshotshotstudy3

That paper cites a professor and researcher who is located in Canada, who has written some work about suicide, see here.


And it's by far one of the best academic papers on the subject of suicide from an anti-oppressive perspective. Here is a snippet of their proposals. And it's honestly the best thing I've read in a long time. Like that's exactly what I've been talking about all these years. That's how real suicide prevention could look like without throwing people under the bus who sincerely want to die. But yeah... journalist who have no idea what goes through the mind of a suicidal person will never understand that. Here is a snippet.​

Research1

So maybe some of those Canada-based journalists who have called us a pro-suicide forum want to reach out to actual experts on this issue before they just slander an entire community as pro-suicide? Like again, why do I have to read and link these academic papers? Why is it obvious that none of the journalists covering this forum did their research, not even basic research, looking into the ethical considerations around spaces like ours? Like, the academic discourse on suicide forums has been going for a while and there are answers that already tell you why this forume exists and why people use it. Why there is a demand. And the answers aren't as sinister as you'd like.

On top of that, there is also another academic paper that looked into this forum back in 2021 and they didn't find any suicide incitement. They said idea reinforcemenet might be present that's a very different claim than us "encouraging" suicide. They also call us a pro-choice suicide forum in that study, which I think is a more accurate depiction and it makes sense given researchers care about the truth and not about exciting headlines.


Pro suicide1
Pro suicide2
Pro suicide3
Pro suicide4

So how is that for scientific evidence?
This entire thread is me going out of my way to address allegations which have been thrown around for years without ever being substantiated by anyone. None of those journalists have ever been able to back up up their questionable accusation that we're pro-suicide, that we encourage suicide or similiar claims. And that's concerning. As a journalist you have a duty to report the truth. It's not your job to make up your reader's minds but that's what you've been doing by making the decision for them if the forum you're reporting about is pro-choice or not. You have violated basic principles of good journalism and you clearly don't care to uphold any journalistic objectivity in any of your articles covering this forum. In other words: you're bad reporters.

And again, I didn't have to write this thread yet I did it anyway - because I wanted to. I don't have a problem responding to these journalists and taking them apart. I've done it for years. And it goes without saying that I don't take any journalist or reporter seriously who calls us pro-suicide and in my humble opinion, neither should you. They just expose their own ideological bias when they do that. Scientific articles to this day describe us as pro-choice, such as this one that just came out a few days ago. Odd, isn't it? And I also linked to an academic paper that doesn't use charged language, that take nuance into consideration and recognises there might be no incitement but reinforcement instead which blows the entire pro-suicide construct apart. That's my conclusion after reading it but you're free to make up your own mind. I spent quite a lot of time writing this thread and I tried to include research backing up my position, something that people who call us pro-suicide never do.

That was the first and last time that I've addressed these allegations. And I hope I explained why it's problematic to call us pro-suicide, why it's problematic that the journalists obviously don't care about truthful coverage, why it's problematic to ally with vigilantes and why it's problematic to neglect the academic discourse. Obviously, this thread isn't going to change the narrative because they don't care. Reporters covering this forum ususally ignore threads like this one where I directly respond to their claims, correcting misinformation. But I hope at least my community gets something out of it and I'm at least on the record now responding to these allegations. Thanks for reading.​
 
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TheGoodGuy

TheGoodGuy

Visionary
Aug 27, 2018
2,889
I don´t see many on here who are pro-suicide and see none who uncourages people to ctb which also is against the rules. I for certain am pro-choice not pro-suicide because I know how amazing life has been and can be under the right conditions but I also know what a nightmare life can be under the wrong conditions such as living with chronical physical illnesses and/or mental illnesses then life just becomes a struggle and too unbearable when you have to suffer every day with no happiness for years or decades.
 
I

iloverachel

Mage
Mar 7, 2024
531
Yeah based on my short time on these forums, I have yet to seen a pro suicide poster.

When someone wishes to CTB, wishing them peace and that its painless is being pro choice. A lot of people confuse that with being pro suicide when in reality, we are letting them make their own choice
 
shinitai_sh0jo

shinitai_sh0jo

Is it so selfish to want to feel a little better?
Dec 30, 2023
75
I've never read about anyone encouraging other to commit ctb. If anything, this site is way more pacific than any other social media I know of. I've been using my profile here almost as a diary for hard times, and it really helps to be able to come in contact with people who are almost always willing to talk out about our problems.

It's great not to have to deal with people who judge others who want to do CTB as selfish, as it is a horrible thing to read depending on the moment you are in. I never thought I would been so grateful of creating a profile on an internet forum like I do.
 
S

SVEN

Enlightened
Apr 3, 2023
1,216
Dealing with my own health problems and being responsible for a semi invalid partner and elderly dog, both of whom love and depend on me, I'm not in a position to ctb meantime. So, I keep going day by dreary day for them. This Forum is the one place where I can come, no one judges me or is bothered or distressed when I say I wish I was gone. People actually just get it and accept it.
Where else do the damaged, the ill, the broken get to go to be understood. No one here cares about your ethnicity, skin colour, gender ID etc. We're all just trying to get through today, or put an end to today, as best we can. And if anyone finds a reason to keep on going or fully recover they've got my respect and very best wishes.
Pro choice sure doesn't mean that I'm hoping or suggesting everyone should catch that 'bus; just that they have the right to.
 
Malaria

Malaria

If I can't be my own, I'd feel better dead
Feb 24, 2024
1,010
Any time I've seen people on here encouraging suicide, it's always reported and dealt with swiftly. Any type of trollish or malicious behavior I've seen here is always handled very well by mods. Frankly this forum has one of the best mods I've ever seen anywhere, I say this as someone who has been in multiple places where mods didn't do anything about harassment or trolling.
 
Bed

Bed

Global Mod
Aug 24, 2019
774
Very well written. Hopefully this will help people and especially reporters understand what pro-choice really means and how SS is a pro-choice forum. Would be nice to see an unbiased report of SS and why places such as SS are needed in our current society. However, sensational journalism has really destroyed the credibility of most modern journalists unfortunately so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks for taking the time to write this all up, I know it wasn't easy.
 
Z-A

Z-A

Let me go
Mar 3, 2024
125
I personally haven't encountered anyone encouraging suicide to people in this site. I've noticed that it's simply not acceptable within the community, that explains enough that this site has just people who try to support each other and are very open to talk about any topics. I'm glad being a member of this forum and thankful to its community.
 
U

unabletocope

Specialist
Mar 13, 2024
377
I joined this site quite recently and have found it to be quite an empathetic and generally cool headed place to discuss the topic of suicide, I've generally found people to be quite mature and honest about what is quite a painful and heavy topic. This site clearly has its critics and opponents and to some extent I have empathy for them as well but I think the site generally serves a constructive purpose and on that basis I hope mods and admins here persevere through the criticism and attacks, if the site goes under then so be it but I can't see that happening, thank you for doing what you can to make a space for those of us who are grieving suffering and need the outlet for that
 
marchshift

marchshift

Member
Mar 15, 2024
69
I'm visiting this website for encouragement motivation to finally crossover. I feel encouraged to kill myself here. Nothing wrong with needing help.
 
アホペンギン

アホペンギン

I told you.
Jul 10, 2023
2,202
There's probably less than 5 members who are hard pro-death but the media only quotes and focuses on them. They don't care about the thousands of us surviving.
That is what always happens unfortunately in this society. People only "see" (I don't know any alternative term) the morally incorrect side.

For example, concerning euthanasia for the disabled, there is a group of (disabled) people who are strictly against the idea of euthanasia being available, or even recommended as an option for disabled people as they believe its coercion (its not), speaking as if they're speaking for everyone which is far from the truth.
Yet, the group of disabled people who are supportive of euthanasia because they have enough compassion, are mostly ignored, at least from what I see on twitter/X.

Those who are against euthanasia for themselves because the idea of death strikes fear into their hearts, or for some other reason, can just ignore it. They don't have the right to take away the ability to make that decision universally just because they're afraid to make said decision themselves, or because they're just against the idea of euthanasia, and that opinion is dependent on their personal moral outlook which is not the universal stance. It's just not right.
Very well written. Hopefully this will help people and especially reporters understand what pro-choice really means and how SS is a pro-choice forum. Would be nice to see an unbiased report of SS and why places such as SS are needed in our current society. However, sensational journalism has really destroyed the credibility of most modern journalists unfortunately so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Thanks for taking the time to write this all up, I know it wasn't easy.
Unfortunately its probably impossible that those journalists and "advocates" who seek to ban this forum who pull these false accusations without any factual basis from their asses will ever read this, let alone click on this thread because they're too emotionally invested in the prospect of banning this forum with accusations based on lies and cruelty, so hearing any ideas arguing against their scheme, with valid arguments justifying said stance (something that they themselves cannot provide despite being journalists), would piss them off.
And like you said they're too influenced by sensational journalism rather than factual and credible journalists so that'd play a part in their unwillingness to read this thread, and maybe change their views or consider our side of the story.

Their disgusting yet somehow praised approach to this is just based on straight up laziness, ignorance, unrighteousness, and complete disregard for how the opposition and the vulnerable (us) feels.

Rather than actually doing research and coming up with factual arguments to justify their stance on this matter its easier for them to manipulate the public into believing this or that at the cost of the feeling of insecurity and increased suicidal ideation in some cases on the behalf of their opposition, who already suffer from these feelings or even worse to begin with.

This behavior, while claiming to support mental health initiatives (which is likely why they seek to ban this forum) ironically and unsurprisingly, considering their stance on this argument, contributes to the dehumanization and harassment of those who may be most in need of help on the grounds of being apart of a supposed "pro-suicide-encouragement-cult".
Their willingness to use coercive tactics and harassment under the guise of "moral righteousness" falls far short from the morally heroic behavior that them and their supporters make it out to be.

It's really baffling how journalists, who are entrusted with the responsibility of doing research and afterwards reporting with an unbiased opinion fail to uphold the normalized standard and fulfill the basic expectation, but relying probably solely on obviously biased sources, aren't seen as untrustworthy.
And even when said biased sources admit to having a biased and non-factual opinion (as aforementioned, in this thread) which I'm sure journalists are fully aware about, the journalists continue to perpetuate this nonsensical narrative without question.

This is the unfortunate reality that we live in. So I doubt anything unbiased would ever appear as of now, especially after all of this stigma surrounding our community arose.😿
 
ewlife

ewlife

:(
Oct 4, 2023
51
Thank you for this post. This forum has helped me during periods of severe depression and suicidality to feel less alone and better supported. The people who claim we are "pro-suicide" sound just as ridiculous as those who make "pro-abortion" claims against pro-choicers.

In response to the comments above, there are occasionally people who encourage others to CTB here. Someone did this to me a few days ago and the person got a warning and subsequent ban after I pushed for it. I think an automatic ban on those who encourage suicide should be put in place to deter these people and reduce the potential for harm. With that said, the mod I talked to listened and took my feelings seriously. There is no systemic pro-suicide agenda here.
 
Guy_Smiley

Guy_Smiley

Just another lost soul
Jan 4, 2024
326
Excellent post. You covered everything. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to administering and protecting SaSu.

"Journalists" who absurdly and often insidiously call SaSu "pro-suicide" are simply not worth wasting more time or energy on. And the anti-choice activists/vigilantes trying to shut the forum down will never succeed through legal means. Freedom of speech is of course a constitutionally protected right in the U.S.A. Thus, as long as SaSu isn't doing anything illegal (which of course it is not nor ever has), these activists have absolutely zero legal ground to stand on. Their only means of taking down the forum are through cyber attacks. So, just keep proactively taking steps to safeguard the forum against that and let the "journalists" and anti-choicers fuck right off.
 
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S

sadman710

Student
Mar 22, 2024
134
Why would anyone give a fuck about someone who enjoys being here, but some kinda weirdo? If you want to be here and you're happy, good for you. More power to ya. Happy for your situation. But if anyone makes the choice or decision they don't want to be here or not happy here, why do you give a fuck? Let them decide if this place is worth it for them. If you don't like they don't think it's worth it, what are you doing to make them think it's worth being in this place? Make them deathly ill, in pain, under torture, persecution, are they supposed to be enthusiastic as everyone else on this planet? lol. You probably put your miserable pets to sleep, but are so surprised when humans in this system want the same thing. Make them go to the bitter end as long as possible, no matter how shitty their circumstance is. And you most likely don't give a fuck how much they've endured, just your own world and your accomplishments, so why do you give a fuck if you never really helped?
 
B

Blank_Slate

Member
Mar 26, 2024
26
I'm still learning about this forum, but I think it's inevitable that an issue like this will be scrutinized, and I think rightly so.

I think the danger is in the distinction between those who contemplate death for "internal reasons" vs. those who contemplate it for "external reasons".

"external reasons" could include things like terminal illness, or extremely low quality of life that can be to some extent objectively measured.

"internal reasons" I basically am here using to refer to suffering and mental anguish that is largely not caused by external factors in the person's life, nor untreatable physiological conditions (including those of the brain or nervous system).

If a person is contemplating death for reason's that are apparently philosophical to the human condition I think for their benefit they should be offered an opportunity to examine whether their feelings are a rationalization of emotional distress caused by something else in their life or a physiological condition. Ultimately a person has the right to their own autonomy over their body to this extent, but you want that person to be in a mental state where they can make an informed decision rather than be a victim to their own condition.

The format of this forum seems like it might disconnect people from the opportunity to help keep such people informed in that particular way - and it's hard to provide the tools to distinguish between the different kinds of people who are experiencing these kinds of contemplation.

I subscribe to something like the Tomas Szasz framework of mental illness - that many times these problems are caused by the world first, and are not strictly "illness" - although as with other forms of illness sometimes it is a kind of infection that starts with problems in the life of the person, and then festers into a state of mind, abuse, or other kinds of more internal problems.

But also like Tomas Szasz, I think we need to be careful not to "institutionalize" people in a way that strips them of their autonomy and freedom, or that fails to respect their will, or that becomes a vehicle for authority to simply control people.

Basically any forum such as this certainly ought to be monitored because people's lives are on the line, death is irreversible, and the issue is complex and nuanced.
 
ijustwishtodie

ijustwishtodie

death will be my ultimate bliss
Oct 29, 2023
2,194
This is a well written post as always R&S. Sadly, I don't think that it'd change any of their views as many of the people who claim that this site is pro suicide aren't thinking with logic but rather with emotion. The tantacrul video confirms that already. I honestly believe that these people are living in autopilot and just sprouting out the views that they feel is correct. They don't put much thought into this due to the nature of this topic being uncomfortable. Also, to them, not preventing suicides or seeing suicide as a personal choice is pro suicide. Because of this, they have been closed minded from the start and they always will be.

Nonetheless, this is still an excellent post and you considered this topic far more than they ever will
 
the_fail_man

the_fail_man

Failure, Outcast, Diseased - The True Leper
Mar 9, 2024
47
Yeah based on my short time on these forums, I have yet to seen a pro suicide poster.

When someone wishes to CTB, wishing them peace and that its painless is being pro choice. A lot of people confuse that with being pro suicide when in reality, we are letting them make their own choice
Yeah I was talking to a friend I deeply trust and they told me they viewed suicide as pro choice but they just wished it was a lot more safer than the current methods. Hot take - I'd wager more people than we think on the outside are pro-choice especially people under like 35. The media acts as if 100% of people agree with their opinions. When in reality it's probably more like 80% and then trying to convince the other 10-20%.


My point is there are people outside this forum that told me more or less "I will miss you, but I support your decision, I only wish you peace"


But you obviously can't have this discussion with anyone either. Know your friends well. I know the ones I can talk to about this, and the ones I can't. The closer you are with someone. And the more you speak with them, the less likely they are to be receptive. The friend I mentioned I feel close with, but we only chat like every 2-6 weeks. So she was a perfect person to have this discussion with.


By her "letting go" I am less likely to ctb in the coming weeks and months. I love her. More people need to be like her.
 
K

Kit1

Enlightened
Oct 24, 2023
1,022
Let them talk. If it makes them feel better at the expense of exploiting and abusing people who are already vulnerable, let them talk. I am fed up of having to listen to people who say that suicide is a selfish act, that it is a passing phase, being asked my a mental health nurse whether I do not want to live to see my grandchildren, for the medics themselves to abandon me and now having to face up to the possibility of leaving the planet on my set date because those I turned to refused to help. Let them talk if that keeps them happy and give them more ability to live happily at our expense - the let them talk.
 
Blue Elephant

Blue Elephant

Specialist
Sep 22, 2023
377
Well, I'm not sure if that can be considered merely a post anymore, it's more of a small novel. Well written though! Thank you @RainAndSadness for sharing that with us.

For the record I am not pro or against life or death .. or am I? I think it really depends on the facts, the conditions one lives in and the conditions it creates for other lifeforms. Generally though I don't push people one way or the other, they usually know their situation better and can make a correct choice. I'm sorry I can't do more than just offer a tap on the back.
 
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Stock Man

Stock Man

Member
Jan 7, 2024
12
Most members who have been active in this forum for a while know that the media has blatantly misrepresented the purpose and philosophy of this forum for years. For example, let's take a look at these articles here.



The titles already give it away and contribute a lot to the public opinion that we are "pro-suicide".

We're more than just a "pro-suicide" forum as the media likes to smear us, very often implying we're some kind of cult. We're a very diverse community with thousands of members, with most of them struggling to the extent that they think about suicide, some more than others, and that results in a wide variety of content, from conversations about recovery and life to discussions around suicide and the right to die. And yes, I strictly reject the claim that we are "pro-suicide," people in our forum recover all the time and when they announce they're doing better, we cheer them on in this community. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] This is just a small selection of threads I've found by doing a 5 minute search on this forum and all of them are members announcing their departure because they found something to live for and in some cases, our community directly contributed to that change. For example, here are two specific threads where members of the forum specifically point out this community has contributed to their recovery, again - with nothing but positive feedback under these threads. Nobody is telling them to change their mind, nobody is encouraging suicide, nobody is frowing upon their decision. It's nothing but compassion and acceptance for someone's decision. This is not pro-suicide. This is pro-choice.


Okay. And there is not one single case that I'm aware of, where someone reported significant improvement of their situation, which then resulted in an overhelmingly negative response to that thread. It just doesn't happen. I gave the examples above. If you can prove me wrong, do it. There are so many threads of people basically announcing 'hey, I'm doing better, SaSu helped me through that journey and I'm going to leave this forum now to enjoy my life' and that's a good thing and these threads are always met with kindness and praise as I've demonstrated above. How does that match the accusation of us being "pro-suicide"? Doesn't this kind of behavior displayed in these threads demonstrate a pro-choice position of the overhelming majority of participating members in our forum? This is direct and irrefutable evidence that this community is not pro-suicide but passionately pro-choice. Furthermore, there is not one thing I've said in the last 5 years that would suggest I'm pro-death or pro-suicide. And I think that's quite significant given I'm the admin of this forum, right. I made very clear that I'm pro-choice and everything I've said so far in my position underlines that notion. I have also made clear towards bad actors who try to exploit this forum that suicide encouragement isn't okay. Sadly, trolls with no intuition and nuance sometimes mistake us for 4chan 2.0 and invade this forum with the intention to cause harm. But there is a difference between encouraging suicide and respecting someone's voluntary and well thought-out choice to exercise their right to die. One is pro-suicide and one is pro-choice. That tiny bit of nuance sadly goes unnoticed by the majority of journalists who report on this forum.

The problem is that most people who cover this forum simply don't understand language. The media suggests we're "pro-suicide" - and that's a position that prefers suicide over all other options, right? That's at least how I understand that word. Being pro-suicide means you think suicide is the right answer to every problem, that you should commit suicide if you're thinking about it, without any second thoughts. And that's how we're framed. But that's just not true, we don't suggest to anyone what's the right decision, that in itself makes us pro-choice per definition. It's up to anyone in this forum to make their own decisions, we don't tell anyone what to do - that's explicitly drawn out in the rules. And what you do with your own life is by the way a deeply personal matter, what decision someone makes in regards to their own welfare is not the business of anyone here and anyone out there either. If you want to live is a question only you can answer. Okay, so it's factually inaccurate to report the entire community, thousands of active members with a diverse background and history, as generally "pro-suicide" - as if we're a homogenic hivemind that all have the same thoughts and ideas, it's simply dehumanizing and insulting. And the philosophy of this forum underlines the fact that we are pro-choice very clearly. So again, the constant reporting of this forum as a pro-suicide forum has no factual basis other than a extreme misunderstanding of what it means to be pro-choice in regards to suicide. And again, recognising and accepting someone's decision to exercise their right to die isn't "pro-suicide" the same way that accepting and recognising someone's decision to (not) have an abortion isn't "pro-(or anti-)abortion" either. It's a "pro-choice" stance in both cases because in both cases you're merely accepting someone's decision and action that are expressions of individual and bodily autonomy. You make the decision, nobody else - that's the philosophy of this forum. And giving you a choice to make your own decisions, even when "destructive" (and that's again a question of perspective), is pro-choice. That's the consequence of a liberal interpretation of individual autonomy. And that alone is the determining factor if a position is pro-choice or forced-anything, such as pro-life or pro-suicide. This forum doesn't make the case that there should be more suicides. In fact we say there should be less suicide but as I've pointed out in my response to the BBC, the methods which are applied to achieve that goal are wrong and cause more harm than good. I've also outlined this here in my most recent thread about SN regulation. But I don't think I have seen a representative amount of members make the case that more suicides are a preferrable outcome, we as a community hope that the lives of people who use this forum improve, of course. That's also the position of every single moderator, by the way. Me included. And I would never promote someone to the position of a moderator who doesn't have the best interest of every single member in mind. I have written countless posts and threads discussing suicide prevention and I have literally begged the media to use this forum as a resource to better understand suicidality. But instead they're demonizing us because that's just easier. Don't get it twisted, the current reporting is a mix of both ideological barriers which prevents people from understanding the purpose of this forum but also straight-up laziness, which prevents people from doing their own investigative research and instead they merely adapt the narrative of other journalists that's and why I'm writing this thread right now.

So again, we're pro-choice. And being pro-choice always comes with an accepting notion for the decision you make, right. When I accept and respect a decision you make, that doesn't mean I encourage that decision. These are differences between encouraging a decision or acknowledging and respecting it. So we're pro-whatever-decision-you-make-for-your-own-life as long as you don't harm anyone else. That's inherently pro-choice and until you demonstrate and explain to us why we're more pro-suicide than pro-choice, why it's logically correct to call an entire community of suicidal people collectively pro-suicide, I will reject any article that follows that narrative and this thread here is going to be the standard response to any future articles that calls us pro-suicide and in the future, any questions about this forum can be answered by reading this thread because it contains all the answers you need to know. I also don't take any journalist seriously who writes obviously biased articles and I have no desire to interact with them. I also hope that answers why knocking on my door is going to be a waste of time... right, Angus?

Next, now that I've outlined that we're pro-choice, I'm going to explain to you why it's the morally correct position. If you want to infringe on someone's individual and bodily autonomy, you need very good reasons - which hopefully is a statement that journalists out there covering this forum agree with. And that applies even more so to a fundamental human right like someone's right to die. Your subjective feeling that someone prolonging their suffering might be the better outcome long-term doesn't outweight the perceived emotional and mental distress of the person who wants to die, so their decision to end said pain is always more important than your demand that they should keep suffering. In other words: you do not override someone's lack of consent to stay alive. You have no right to say that they should have to endure their (physical or mental) pain for your own emotional peace, you have no right to force them. We use the same logic to justify abortion, the needs of someone who seeks out an abortion is more important than your subjective feeling as to why it's wrong to have one. And that's literally the concept of individual autonomy and it's the empathic approach to the question whetever someone has a right to die. Relief from pain is a good thing and we need to stop pretending it's not. Of course, if you don't have any empathy for suicidal people, you'll be unable to see that. And if you've never been suicidal, you have no idea how it feels like to be in that position, to sit on hot coals, to suffer so much that you just want to die. That's why suicidal people hate when non-suicidal people speak for and over us and sadly, that's what the media has been doing all along, constantly infantilizing suicidal people in the process and pretending to act in our best interest as if our input doesn't count, and they're showing us exactly everything that's wrong in our world. We have so many members in this forum, like we literally count 45k registered members at this point and it's concerning that the exchange between journalists who want to understand this forum and members of this forum who agree with the philosophy of this place hasn't happened in 5 years. And that's not our fault, I know that members have reached out to these journalists who call us pro-suicide. The problem is, that they're not interested in interviewing people who could humanize Sanctioned Suicide and justify the existence of this forum, as an alternative to the current oppressive approach that's the status quo when it comes to preventing suicide. On the other hand - the exchange between journalists and people who oppose this forum for very irrational reasons has happened very frequently, and that's the problem. There is an inbalance in the research that's done to understand this forum and represent both sides. In other words, there has been no attempt to understand us, that was never the intent - from the start.

And yes, there are some people, for example staff members, who do not want to give an interview but that's because there has been no attempt so far to accurately portray this forum in good-faith and no sign that these reporters are ready to protect people's privacy. But there are enough people who would be open to given an interview to defend SaSu's existence, for example here and here - but as I said, interviewing people who use this forum and giving them space to talk about the necessacity of a website like this forum would contradict the narrative so it doesn't happen. Again, I reached out to a journalist a few years ago, before I was even a moderator, trying to defend this forum and we did actually talk for almost an hour but they never published that interview.

So yeah, the constant misrepresentation of this forum is annoying but it isn't surprising given the journalists covering this forum aren't interested in objective and factual reporting and instead have always emotionalized and dramatized the conversation around this forum by highlighting the apparent repulsive and outrageous nature of this forum or by posting the names and faces of members who have exercised their right to die, as if their implied opposition (none of them have spoken out against SaSu) to suicide has more value and legitimacy than the needs of those who want to die, while also pushing the reasons why they were suicidal in the first place into the background and focusing on their membership in this forum instead to make the forum look responsible for their decision to end their lives and not the real life problems that haunted them every day. And I think that's disrespectful to the people who have passed away. None of those articles are written with the intention to motivate systemic change and more awareness for things that make suicide an attractive option in the first place, it's all about writing bombastic headlines, shifting the blame to the forum. It's obvious. Why wouldn't these journalists want to talk about the systemic causes of suicide, which is certainly a dry topic and instead make a forum responsible which is merely a symptom of a dysfunctional society? We're not the reason why people want to die. According to the data I've seen, the increase in suicide numbers that so many journalists complain about has started before this forum even existed and most members who make an account here in this forum communicate in their registration that they've been suicidal before, sometimes for years - and that's why they want to join this forum. The forum clearly isn't the problem here. They come to this forum as suicidal people because this place has to offer something that's appealing to them... So wouldn't it be interesting for these journalists to look into the reasons why these members who make an account here were suicidal for years, instead of blaming us? It's quite easy, because it doesn't fit the narrative that we're the bad guys.

Another issue is that a big portion of the journalists who are covering this place get most of their information from people who oppose this forum and these are very often the protagonists of their coverage. These are people who oppose us for ideological reasons and push for legislative change to criminalize this forum because they have lost someone to suicide themselves. The problem is, they do not care about the systemic causes of suicide that drove their loved ones to take drastic measures to escape their pain. What they care about is deplatforming the forum because we're an easy scapegoat. And that makes sense, it's easier to cope with the idea that this forum pushed someone into suicide instead of reflecting and thinking about potential signs for someone's suicidality you might have missed or holding the people in charge (politicans and lawmakers) accountable who are blocking systemic change which would allow struggling people to live under better conditions. And shouldn't that be the goal, create a more compassionate and empathic society that makes people want to stay alive voluntarily instead of relying on coercision to prolong people's lives? There is so much you can do to improve people's lives that doesn't attack people's freedom, right. Not all but the majority of those journalists that have covered us and portrayed us in a very negative light in the past are directly in touch with people who are campaigning to shut us down and sadly they refuse to cover this forum with the same neutrality that's applied for the coverage of other, equally controversial, topics. They throw journalistic standards out the window. Journalists like Angus Crawford, Aisling Murphy and Thomas Daigle have never investigated this community properly because if they did, they would know we're anything but "pro-suicide" - as I've explained above - and they would also know that describing a community with 45'000 total members with one word ("pro-suicide") is the most dishonest thing you could possibly do. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. That's the result of listening to grieving people. What they're experiencing is without a doubt painful but they're not good picks for a level-headed and rational conversation on ethical issues like suicide (prevention) and the right to die. Journalists took the input of these people who want to see the forum gone as reliable information without fact-checking claims and taking into consideration that there might be a certain bias, influenced by emotional pain. And that's how you end up with very one-sided reporting, over and over again. Because again, these people have a very clear interest in framing this forum in the worst way possible and feeding those journalists false information, for example that we allow members to use this forum as a marketplace or that we encourage suicide when none of that is true. Their self-proclaimed goal is to make us disappear - that's obvious when you look their Twitter activity and who they blame for the death of their loves ones. And these opponents of our forum are motivated by very negative emotions and that's why they doxxed members of our forum in the past, something that's always brushed aside when these people are interviewed and portrayed as victims in these articles. For example, Kelli Wilson - who is one of the most vocal opponent of this forum has doxxed a member of our community, Catherine Adenekan has done the same and on top of that celebrated the suicide of a member who has taken their own life, mocking their goodbye thread and Lee Cooper has repeatedly threatened to murder the founders of this forum on Twitter yet they're still seen as credible sources and still featured in their coverage on our forum despite the very obvious fact that they have an agenda and they will do anything necessary - literally walking over corpses at this point - to achieve their goals. They also harassed a trans woman who they mistook for me relentlessly. They make very clear that doxxing suicidal people is part of their playbook. These repulsive actions aren't the topic of this thread but it's important to mention that these people are not credible sources for anything related to this forum. I might dive into their problematic online conduct in more detail in a seperate thread if people are interested in that. But they're vigilantes who take the law into their own hands because we're operating this forum 100% legally and none of their political efforts to deplatform us have paid out. That's why they're harassing and intimidating those who run this forum and those who participate as members. They have every incentive in the world to push a certain narrative and spreading lies and misinformation is part of their strategy.

But it gets even worse. Some of the journalists I've mentioned above are members of the anti-Sanctioned Suicide group on Facebook.

This group was founded by Kelli Wilson, the same person that created the website Fixthe26. The same person who also doxxed a member of our forum as I just mentioned before and the same person who said my predecessor needs to get publicly executed and claimed I'm not a human. Does anyone here think that it's a coincidence that journalists who who call us pro-suicide and mirror the "pro-suicide" narrative without wasting any time to fact-check anything are also members of a Facebook group founded by someone who wants to take down the forum and is on the record encouraging physical violence and doxxing someone who committed suicide one month later? I think that's a very questionable connection there for journalists who are supposed to remain some objectivity.

We also made a Twitter thread about this problematic alliance and Thomas Daigle has since left that group while Aisling Murphy still remains a member. I guess some journalists aren't even pretending to be neutral here. Kelli's Twitter account has been banned as a result of all the harassement towards our community and she is actively evading her ban right now with her new account.

Again, unlike the journalists who write these articles I'm not here to tell you what to think. But I find it very suspicious that journalists who have described us as "pro-suicide" (repeatedly) are in a group of vigilantes trying to take down this forum - with questionable methods - and it looks a bit to me like some people are using their position as "reporters" to act as someone's mouth piece. I don't think it's a coincidence that these articles are written like that. Kelli also never made it a secret that she sends emails to journalists, politicians and authorities to influence the narrative - and she has admitted on Twitter that she doesn't care if the information is correct as long as it furthers their agenda.

That's how badly the coverage around our forum is compromissed, specific individuals were able to take advantage of naive journalists and influence the framing of this website. How could you question the framing of a grieving parent? You don't, you just look at the frontpage of this forum and you know all you need to know - if you're a lazy journalist. So again, journalists covering our forum never tried to understand us and why we exist, there was never any investigative research and an attempt to portray this community fairly. It's also odd that they also never even looked at my post history in this forum. I mean if they aren't interested in obtaining a representative view of our community on subjects like suicide and suicide prevention, something that would debunk the claim that we're pro-suicide, they could at least look at my posts - not that I'm representative in any way but I'm the admin after all, right - if you really wanted to know what's the intention behind a forum, what are the thoughts that went into it, how its existence is justified, you could look at my output and include some of my posts into these articles. There are countless threads and posts that explain my position on suicide. But they don't even do that because it directly contradicts their reporting because I've said plenty of things that highlight the importance of meaningful suicide prevention. And no, infringing on someone's autonomy isn't meaningful suicide prevention

And it's remarkable that journalists covering this forum until 2021 made a big deal out of the fact that the founders identified as incels, evidence that supposedly highlighted the sinister nature of this community [1][2][3][4]. You don't really need to do any investigative research into this community anymore when you can just brush this forum aside as some malicious incel trap and that was the framing on this forum back in the days. But for some reason, now that I'm running this community, backgrounds suddenly aren't important anymore. They've never mentioned my background - that I'm a trans woman. There were so many articles that made their coverage on this forum all about the founders' identification as incels but none of the articles that were released after they stepped down highlighted the fact that I'm suicidal myself and a trans woman, someone who supports left-wing policies. They never mentioned in any of the articles that I'm suffering from mental health issues myself and that this could maybe be the reason why I have a different approach to suicide. Wouldn't that be important context when you cover this forum? Wouldn't that give insight into the why I'm doing this? Yeah, maybe if you point out that the person running this forum is trans and has a long history of struggling with several mental health conditions themselves it would kinda ruin your well crafted narrative about evil incels who run this forum with malicious pro-suicide intentions, right. And that's certainly a reputation that haunts this forum to this day. I think we all know why they media has pretended that I don't exist, in the 2.5 years I've been running this forum, they have mentioned my username once... they're clearly trying to pretend that I don't exist while they still harass and annoy one of the founders, even going so far to camp three days in front of this house just a few months ago when he hasn't been involved in this forum for over 2 years. Because it serves the narrative that we're an evil pro-suicide forum and that's easier to sell when you can make an incel responsible for the existence of this forum because it allows you to just ignore the left-wing, anti-oppressive trans woman who has been suicidal for many years, who supports individual autonomy and meaningful suicide prevention via systemic change. In other words, talking about my background would humanize this community to a degree. It's all tied to their narrative.

And no, I'm not saying these journalists are conspiring together and working out the best way to smear this forum. It's all coming together naturally, lazy journalists talking to the same few dishonest people and other lazy journalists just copy-pasting the narratives of other articles. I mean, if the BBC calls us "pro-suicide", it has to be correct, right? And you can kinda guess their political viewpoints on certain topics when you read their articles and some of those who have reported on us have a very clear opinion on this forum, as you can see here and here and that contributes to their bias. Why else would they be a member of a anti-Sanctioned Suicide Facebook group? I wasn't aware that journalists should have an opinion on subjects they research but it explains why there isn't even an attempt to write nuanced articles. Tony Smith also complimented these vigilantes who harassed members for their 'hard work', again proving that there is a clear opinion on our forum... We're the bad guys, period.

And look, it was no problem for me to debunk the NYT when they wrote an article about our forum and just recently I updated my response to them with more empirical data because that's how I approach these subjects unlike these journalists. I don't just make claims, I try to back them up with data whenever possible. I have also addressed the SN hysteria in another thread. I don't fear to challenge the media and confront myself with their claims, it gives me great joy to dunk on these clowns who imply in their articles that we contribute to a rising suicide rate when they're unable to provide evidence for such claims. And there is also data that indicates easy informational access to resources regarding ways to exercise your right to die (in plain terms how to commit suicide) does not increase the overall suicide rate but it rather influences how people exercise their right to die. And it makes sense, this kind of information only affects those who already made a decision to end their life. People think reading peaceful ways to exercise your right to die somehow makes you magically suicidal and having open access to methods therefore increases the amount of people who end their lives but again, that's not how it works. The media always portrayed the forum as the single most important contributing factor to a member's suicidality but people are already suicidal when they make an account - as I explained above. And it's a voluntary process. Nobody has ever forced someone to sign up on this forum and we don't advertise this forum either. Every single member has a feature on their profile to deactive their account and leave whenever they desire. There is nothing that keeps anyone here who doesn't feel comfortable with the subjects discussed in this forum. And again, we see why people make an account here, there are so many people who describe their lifelong struggles with suicidality, their suffering that's been a part of their entire life and failed attempts to recover as reasons why they want to make an account here. All of this contradicts the idea that people are trapped in some kind of pro-suicide prison, where people are sucked in and unable to leave. The entire premise of the reporting about this forum is based on the misconception that people who stumble upon this forum, healthy people with no struggles at all, magically commit suicide because the content of this forum is literally brainwashing them and the data I've included in my response to the NYT or the BBC does not confirm that idea. In fact it debunks the idea that this forum has any meaningful impact on nationwide suicide numbers, both in the US and in the UK. We don't change the metrics, even if we tried we couldn't. That's the reality.

It's a blatant misrepresentation of how suicide works in its entirety. People make an account here by choice. They participate in this forum voluntarily. And any decision they make for their own life has little to do with this forum. They're conflating causation and correlation. We don't make people think about committing suicide. People who think about commiting suicide make an account here. That's an important difference. But that would again go against the narrative.

It's also weird that the recovery section is invisible to everyone who thinks we're pro-suicide. Maybe I'm hallucinating but pro-suicide communities aren't exactly known for their recovery resources...

And none of those articles covering our forum with sensationalist headlines seem to remember that pro-choice communities have existed as long as the internet, as these articles from 2011 and 2015 prove. It's safe to say that the philosophy of this community will not disappear but re-emerge under a different name if this forum is taken down successfully and no amount of oppression and censorship will change that, as long as fundamental flaws in the treatment of suicidal people aren't addressed. And calling us pro-suicide at this point is merely an admission that you don't want to talk about the real problems.

Last but not least, what's "pro-suicide" seems to be highly subjective. The BBC covered the topic of assisted suicide a few years ago and they were even accused of a pro-suicide bias. It's almost as if people who disagree with the right to die will attack anything that's remotely pro-choice, hm? Utterly ironic though that the BBC was attacked with the exact same slander that we have to endure right now.

We're almost done with my thread but I also want to shed some light on some academic research to further back up my position. For example, this academic paper here, which dives into the ethical dilemma of pro-choice forums, looking at both pro-life and pro-choice viewpoints and at possible solutions for the ideological conflicts that's at play here between both parties.


And, would you look at that, very early in that paper it acknowledges that the media very often describes pro-choice forums as "pro-suicide", combined with calls to shut them down. And that's exactly what's happening here and that's exactly the reason why I'm writing this thread. So again, maybe journalists aren't really doing much research here as pointed out earlier and maybe they're just dismissing this forum as pro-suicide without knowing what they're talking about or what this forum stands for. I can only recommend to read this paper, it's very interesting and it also explores the ethical conflict in communities like ours when it comes to more controversial methods like train rails due to the fact that bystanders and third parties are involved in that method. Very interesting paper and obviously approaching the issue from an open mind - unlike those journalists.
Here are some snippets.​

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That paper cites a professor and researcher who is located in Canada, who has written some work about suicide, see here.


And it's by far one of the best academic papers on the subject of suicide from an anti-oppressive perspective. Here is a snippet of their proposals. And it's honestly the best thing I've read in a long time. Like that's exactly what I've been talking about all these years. That's how real suicide prevention could look like without throwing people under the bus who sincerely want to die. But yeah... journalist who have no idea what goes through the mind of a suicidal person will never understand that. Here is a snippet.​

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So maybe some of those Canada-based journalists who have called us a pro-suicide forum want to reach out to actual experts on this issue before they just slander an entire community as pro-suicide? Like again, why do I have to read and link these academic papers? Why is it obvious that none of the journalists covering this forum did their research, not even basic research, looking into the ethical considerations around spaces like ours? Like, the academic discourse on suicide forums has been going for a while and there are answers that already tell you why this forume exists and why people use it. Why there is a demand. And the answers aren't as sinister as you'd like.

On top of that, there is also another academic paper that looked into this forum back in 2021 and they didn't find any suicide incitement. They said idea reinforcemenet might be present that's a very different claim than us "encouraging" suicide. They also call us a pro-choice suicide forum in that study, which I think is a more accurate depiction and it makes sense given researchers care about the truth and not about exciting headlines.


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So how is that for scientific evidence?
This entire thread is me going out of my way to address allegations which have been thrown around for years without ever being substantiated by anyone. None of those journalists have ever been able to back up up their questionable accusation that we're pro-suicide, that we encourage suicide or similiar claims. And that's concerning. As a journalist you have a duty to report the truth. It's not your job to make up your reader's minds but that's what you've been doing by making the decision for them if the forum you're reporting about is pro-choice or not. You have violated basic principles of good journalism and you clearly don't care to uphold any journalistic objectivity in any of your articles covering this forum. In other words: you're bad reporters.

And again, I didn't have to write this thread yet I did it anyway - because I wanted to. I don't have a problem responding to these journalists and taking them apart. I've done it for years. And it goes without saying that I don't take any journalist or reporter seriously who calls us pro-suicide and in my humble opinion, neither should you. They just expose their own ideological bias when they do that. Scientific articles to this day describe us as pro-choice, such as this one that just came out a few days ago. Odd, isn't it? And I also linked to an academic paper that doesn't use charged language, that take nuance into consideration and recognises there might be no incitement but reinforcement instead which blows the entire pro-suicide construct apart. That's my conclusion after reading it but you're free to make up your own mind. I spent quite a lot of time writing this thread and I tried to include research backing up my position, something that people who call us pro-suicide never do.

That was the first and last time that I've addressed these allegations. And I hope I explained why it's problematic to call us pro-suicide, why it's problematic that the journalists obviously don't care about truthful coverage, why it's problematic to ally with vigilantes and why it's problematic to neglect the academic discourse. Obviously, this thread isn't going to change the narrative because they don't care. Reporters covering this forum ususally ignore threads like this one where I directly respond to their claims, correcting misinformation. But I hope at least my community gets something out of it and I'm at least on the record now responding to these allegations. Thanks for reading.​
Reporters are biased and trying to meet a deadline. There is so little truth in their reporting and anything that doesn't fit in their agenda is irrelevant. It's stupid
 
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Checker130

Checker130

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Feb 22, 2024
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Most members who have been active in this forum for a while know that the media has blatantly misrepresented the purpose and philosophy of this forum for years. For example, let's take a look at these articles here.



The titles already give it away and contribute a lot to the public opinion that we are "pro-suicide".

We're more than just a "pro-suicide" forum as the media likes to smear us, very often implying we're some kind of cult. We're a very diverse community with thousands of members, with most of them struggling to the extent that they think about suicide, some more than others, and that results in a wide variety of content, from conversations about recovery and life to discussions around suicide and the right to die. And yes, I strictly reject the claim that we are "pro-suicide," people in our forum recover all the time and when they announce they're doing better, we cheer them on in this community. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] This is just a small selection of threads I've found by doing a 5 minute search on this forum and all of them are members announcing their departure because they found something to live for and in some cases, our community directly contributed to that change. For example, here are two specific threads where members of the forum specifically point out this community has contributed to their recovery, again - with nothing but positive feedback under these threads. Nobody is telling them to change their mind, nobody is encouraging suicide, nobody is frowing upon their decision. It's nothing but compassion and acceptance for someone's decision. This is not pro-suicide. This is pro-choice.


Okay. And there is not one single case that I'm aware of, where someone reported significant improvement of their situation, which then resulted in an overhelmingly negative response to that thread. It just doesn't happen. I gave the examples above. If you can prove me wrong, do it. There are so many threads of people basically announcing 'hey, I'm doing better, SaSu helped me through that journey and I'm going to leave this forum now to enjoy my life' and that's a good thing and these threads are always met with kindness and praise as I've demonstrated above. How does that match the accusation of us being "pro-suicide"? Doesn't this kind of behavior displayed in these threads demonstrate a pro-choice position of the overhelming majority of participating members in our forum? This is direct and irrefutable evidence that this community is not pro-suicide but passionately pro-choice. Furthermore, there is not one thing I've said in the last 5 years that would suggest I'm pro-death or pro-suicide. And I think that's quite significant given I'm the admin of this forum, right. I made very clear that I'm pro-choice and everything I've said so far in my position underlines that notion. I have also made clear towards bad actors who try to exploit this forum that suicide encouragement isn't okay. Sadly, trolls with no intuition and nuance sometimes mistake us for 4chan 2.0 and invade this forum with the intention to cause harm. But there is a difference between encouraging suicide and respecting someone's voluntary and well thought-out choice to exercise their right to die. One is pro-suicide and one is pro-choice. That tiny bit of nuance sadly goes unnoticed by the majority of journalists who report on this forum.

The problem is that most people who cover this forum simply don't understand language. The media suggests we're "pro-suicide" - and that's a position that prefers suicide over all other options, right? That's at least how I understand that word. Being pro-suicide means you think suicide is the right answer to every problem, that you should commit suicide if you're thinking about it, without any second thoughts. And that's how we're framed. But that's just not true, we don't suggest to anyone what's the right decision, that in itself makes us pro-choice per definition. It's up to anyone in this forum to make their own decisions, we don't tell anyone what to do - that's explicitly drawn out in the rules. And what you do with your own life is by the way a deeply personal matter, what decision someone makes in regards to their own welfare is not the business of anyone here and anyone out there either. If you want to live is a question only you can answer. Okay, so it's factually inaccurate to report the entire community, thousands of active members with a diverse background and history, as generally "pro-suicide" - as if we're a homogenic hivemind that all have the same thoughts and ideas, it's simply dehumanizing and insulting. And the philosophy of this forum underlines the fact that we are pro-choice very clearly. So again, the constant reporting of this forum as a pro-suicide forum has no factual basis other than a extreme misunderstanding of what it means to be pro-choice in regards to suicide. And again, recognising and accepting someone's decision to exercise their right to die isn't "pro-suicide" the same way that accepting and recognising someone's decision to (not) have an abortion isn't "pro-(or anti-)abortion" either. It's a "pro-choice" stance in both cases because in both cases you're merely accepting someone's decision and action that are expressions of individual and bodily autonomy. You make the decision, nobody else - that's the philosophy of this forum. And giving you a choice to make your own decisions, even when "destructive" (and that's again a question of perspective), is pro-choice. That's the consequence of a liberal interpretation of individual autonomy. And that alone is the determining factor if a position is pro-choice or forced-anything, such as pro-life or pro-suicide. This forum doesn't make the case that there should be more suicides. In fact we say there should be less suicide but as I've pointed out in my response to the BBC, the methods which are applied to achieve that goal are wrong and cause more harm than good. I've also outlined this here in my most recent thread about SN regulation. But I don't think I have seen a representative amount of members make the case that more suicides are a preferrable outcome, we as a community hope that the lives of people who use this forum improve, of course. That's also the position of every single moderator, by the way. Me included. And I would never promote someone to the position of a moderator who doesn't have the best interest of every single member in mind. I have written countless posts and threads discussing suicide prevention and I have literally begged the media to use this forum as a resource to better understand suicidality. But instead they're demonizing us because that's just easier. Don't get it twisted, the current reporting is a mix of both ideological barriers which prevents people from understanding the purpose of this forum but also straight-up laziness, which prevents people from doing their own investigative research and instead they merely adapt the narrative of other journalists that's and why I'm writing this thread right now.

So again, we're pro-choice. And being pro-choice always comes with an accepting notion for the decision you make, right. When I accept and respect a decision you make, that doesn't mean I encourage that decision. These are differences between encouraging a decision or acknowledging and respecting it. So we're pro-whatever-decision-you-make-for-your-own-life as long as you don't harm anyone else. That's inherently pro-choice and until you demonstrate and explain to us why we're more pro-suicide than pro-choice, why it's logically correct to call an entire community of suicidal people collectively pro-suicide, I will reject any article that follows that narrative and this thread here is going to be the standard response to any future articles that calls us pro-suicide and in the future, any questions about this forum can be answered by reading this thread because it contains all the answers you need to know. I also don't take any journalist seriously who writes obviously biased articles and I have no desire to interact with them. I also hope that answers why knocking on my door is going to be a waste of time... right, Angus?

Next, now that I've outlined that we're pro-choice, I'm going to explain to you why it's the morally correct position. If you want to infringe on someone's individual and bodily autonomy, you need very good reasons - which hopefully is a statement that journalists out there covering this forum agree with. And that applies even more so to a fundamental human right like someone's right to die. Your subjective feeling that someone prolonging their suffering might be the better outcome long-term doesn't outweight the perceived emotional and mental distress of the person who wants to die, so their decision to end said pain is always more important than your demand that they should keep suffering. In other words: you do not override someone's lack of consent to stay alive. You have no right to say that they should have to endure their (physical or mental) pain for your own emotional peace, you have no right to force them. We use the same logic to justify abortion, the needs of someone who seeks out an abortion is more important than your subjective feeling as to why it's wrong to have one. And that's literally the concept of individual autonomy and it's the empathic approach to the question whetever someone has a right to die. Relief from pain is a good thing and we need to stop pretending it's not. Of course, if you don't have any empathy for suicidal people, you'll be unable to see that. And if you've never been suicidal, you have no idea how it feels like to be in that position, to sit on hot coals, to suffer so much that you just want to die. That's why suicidal people hate when non-suicidal people speak for and over us and sadly, that's what the media has been doing all along, constantly infantilizing suicidal people in the process and pretending to act in our best interest as if our input doesn't count, and they're showing us exactly everything that's wrong in our world. We have so many members in this forum, like we literally count 45k registered members at this point and it's concerning that the exchange between journalists who want to understand this forum and members of this forum who agree with the philosophy of this place hasn't happened in 5 years. And that's not our fault, I know that members have reached out to these journalists who call us pro-suicide. The problem is, that they're not interested in interviewing people who could humanize Sanctioned Suicide and justify the existence of this forum, as an alternative to the current oppressive approach that's the status quo when it comes to preventing suicide. On the other hand - the exchange between journalists and people who oppose this forum for very irrational reasons has happened very frequently, and that's the problem. There is an inbalance in the research that's done to understand this forum and represent both sides. In other words, there has been no attempt to understand us, that was never the intent - from the start.

And yes, there are some people, for example staff members, who do not want to give an interview but that's because there has been no attempt so far to accurately portray this forum in good-faith and no sign that these reporters are ready to protect people's privacy. But there are enough people who would be open to given an interview to defend SaSu's existence, for example here and here - but as I said, interviewing people who use this forum and giving them space to talk about the necessacity of a website like this forum would contradict the narrative so it doesn't happen. Again, I reached out to a journalist a few years ago, before I was even a moderator, trying to defend this forum and we did actually talk for almost an hour but they never published that interview.

So yeah, the constant misrepresentation of this forum is annoying but it isn't surprising given the journalists covering this forum aren't interested in objective and factual reporting and instead have always emotionalized and dramatized the conversation around this forum by highlighting the apparent repulsive and outrageous nature of this forum or by posting the names and faces of members who have exercised their right to die, as if their implied opposition (none of them have spoken out against SaSu) to suicide has more value and legitimacy than the needs of those who want to die, while also pushing the reasons why they were suicidal in the first place into the background and focusing on their membership in this forum instead to make the forum look responsible for their decision to end their lives and not the real life problems that haunted them every day. And I think that's disrespectful to the people who have passed away. None of those articles are written with the intention to motivate systemic change and more awareness for things that make suicide an attractive option in the first place, it's all about writing bombastic headlines, shifting the blame to the forum. It's obvious. Why wouldn't these journalists want to talk about the systemic causes of suicide, which is certainly a dry topic and instead make a forum responsible which is merely a symptom of a dysfunctional society? We're not the reason why people want to die. According to the data I've seen, the increase in suicide numbers that so many journalists complain about has started before this forum even existed and most members who make an account here in this forum communicate in their registration that they've been suicidal before, sometimes for years - and that's why they want to join this forum. The forum clearly isn't the problem here. They come to this forum as suicidal people because this place has to offer something that's appealing to them... So wouldn't it be interesting for these journalists to look into the reasons why these members who make an account here were suicidal for years, instead of blaming us? It's quite easy, because it doesn't fit the narrative that we're the bad guys.

Another issue is that a big portion of the journalists who are covering this place get most of their information from people who oppose this forum and these are very often the protagonists of their coverage. These are people who oppose us for ideological reasons and push for legislative change to criminalize this forum because they have lost someone to suicide themselves. The problem is, they do not care about the systemic causes of suicide that drove their loved ones to take drastic measures to escape their pain. What they care about is deplatforming the forum because we're an easy scapegoat. And that makes sense, it's easier to cope with the idea that this forum pushed someone into suicide instead of reflecting and thinking about potential signs for someone's suicidality you might have missed or holding the people in charge (politicans and lawmakers) accountable who are blocking systemic change which would allow struggling people to live under better conditions. And shouldn't that be the goal, create a more compassionate and empathic society that makes people want to stay alive voluntarily instead of relying on coercision to prolong people's lives? There is so much you can do to improve people's lives that doesn't attack people's freedom, right. Not all but the majority of those journalists that have covered us and portrayed us in a very negative light in the past are directly in touch with people who are campaigning to shut us down and sadly they refuse to cover this forum with the same neutrality that's applied for the coverage of other, equally controversial, topics. They throw journalistic standards out the window. Journalists like Angus Crawford, Aisling Murphy and Thomas Daigle have never investigated this community properly because if they did, they would know we're anything but "pro-suicide" - as I've explained above - and they would also know that describing a community with 45'000 total members with one word ("pro-suicide") is the most dishonest thing you could possibly do. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. That's the result of listening to grieving people. What they're experiencing is without a doubt painful but they're not good picks for a level-headed and rational conversation on ethical issues like suicide (prevention) and the right to die. Journalists took the input of these people who want to see the forum gone as reliable information without fact-checking claims and taking into consideration that there might be a certain bias, influenced by emotional pain. And that's how you end up with very one-sided reporting, over and over again. Because again, these people have a very clear interest in framing this forum in the worst way possible and feeding those journalists false information, for example that we allow members to use this forum as a marketplace or that we encourage suicide when none of that is true. Their self-proclaimed goal is to make us disappear - that's obvious when you look their Twitter activity and who they blame for the death of their loves ones. And these opponents of our forum are motivated by very negative emotions and that's why they doxxed members of our forum in the past, something that's always brushed aside when these people are interviewed and portrayed as victims in these articles. For example, Kelli Wilson - who is one of the most vocal opponent of this forum has doxxed a member of our community, Catherine Adenekan has done the same and on top of that celebrated the suicide of a member who has taken their own life, mocking their goodbye thread and Lee Cooper has repeatedly threatened to murder the founders of this forum on Twitter yet they're still seen as credible sources and still featured in their coverage on our forum despite the very obvious fact that they have an agenda and they will do anything necessary - literally walking over corpses at this point - to achieve their goals. They also harassed a trans woman who they mistook for me relentlessly. They make very clear that doxxing suicidal people is part of their playbook. These repulsive actions aren't the topic of this thread but it's important to mention that these people are not credible sources for anything related to this forum. I might dive into their problematic online conduct in more detail in a seperate thread if people are interested in that. But they're vigilantes who take the law into their own hands because we're operating this forum 100% legally and none of their political efforts to deplatform us have paid out. That's why they're harassing and intimidating those who run this forum and those who participate as members. They have every incentive in the world to push a certain narrative and spreading lies and misinformation is part of their strategy.

But it gets even worse. Some of the journalists I've mentioned above are members of the anti-Sanctioned Suicide group on Facebook.

This group was founded by Kelli Wilson, the same person that created the website Fixthe26. The same person who also doxxed a member of our forum as I just mentioned before and the same person who said my predecessor needs to get publicly executed and claimed I'm not a human. Does anyone here think that it's a coincidence that journalists who who call us pro-suicide and mirror the "pro-suicide" narrative without wasting any time to fact-check anything are also members of a Facebook group founded by someone who wants to take down the forum and is on the record encouraging physical violence and doxxing someone who committed suicide one month later? I think that's a very questionable connection there for journalists who are supposed to remain some objectivity.

We also made a Twitter thread about this problematic alliance and Thomas Daigle has since left that group while Aisling Murphy still remains a member. I guess some journalists aren't even pretending to be neutral here. Kelli's Twitter account has been banned as a result of all the harassement towards our community and she is actively evading her ban right now with her new account.

Again, unlike the journalists who write these articles I'm not here to tell you what to think. But I find it very suspicious that journalists who have described us as "pro-suicide" (repeatedly) are in a group of vigilantes trying to take down this forum - with questionable methods - and it looks a bit to me like some people are using their position as "reporters" to act as someone's mouth piece. I don't think it's a coincidence that these articles are written like that. Kelli also never made it a secret that she sends emails to journalists, politicians and authorities to influence the narrative - and she has admitted on Twitter that she doesn't care if the information is correct as long as it furthers their agenda.

That's how badly the coverage around our forum is compromissed, specific individuals were able to take advantage of naive journalists and influence the framing of this website. How could you question the framing of a grieving parent? You don't, you just look at the frontpage of this forum and you know all you need to know - if you're a lazy journalist. So again, journalists covering our forum never tried to understand us and why we exist, there was never any investigative research and an attempt to portray this community fairly. It's also odd that they also never even looked at my post history in this forum. I mean if they aren't interested in obtaining a representative view of our community on subjects like suicide and suicide prevention, something that would debunk the claim that we're pro-suicide, they could at least look at my posts - not that I'm representative in any way but I'm the admin after all, right - if you really wanted to know what's the intention behind a forum, what are the thoughts that went into it, how its existence is justified, you could look at my output and include some of my posts into these articles. There are countless threads and posts that explain my position on suicide. But they don't even do that because it directly contradicts their reporting because I've said plenty of things that highlight the importance of meaningful suicide prevention. And no, infringing on someone's autonomy isn't meaningful suicide prevention

And it's remarkable that journalists covering this forum until 2021 made a big deal out of the fact that the founders identified as incels, evidence that supposedly highlighted the sinister nature of this community [1][2][3][4]. You don't really need to do any investigative research into this community anymore when you can just brush this forum aside as some malicious incel trap and that was the framing on this forum back in the days. But for some reason, now that I'm running this community, backgrounds suddenly aren't important anymore. They've never mentioned my background - that I'm a trans woman. There were so many articles that made their coverage on this forum all about the founders' identification as incels but none of the articles that were released after they stepped down highlighted the fact that I'm suicidal myself and a trans woman, someone who supports left-wing policies. They never mentioned in any of the articles that I'm suffering from mental health issues myself and that this could maybe be the reason why I have a different approach to suicide. Wouldn't that be important context when you cover this forum? Wouldn't that give insight into the why I'm doing this? Yeah, maybe if you point out that the person running this forum is trans and has a long history of struggling with several mental health conditions themselves it would kinda ruin your well crafted narrative about evil incels who run this forum with malicious pro-suicide intentions, right. And that's certainly a reputation that haunts this forum to this day. I think we all know why they media has pretended that I don't exist, in the 2.5 years I've been running this forum, they have mentioned my username once... they're clearly trying to pretend that I don't exist while they still harass and annoy one of the founders, even going so far to camp three days in front of this house just a few months ago when he hasn't been involved in this forum for over 2 years. Because it serves the narrative that we're an evil pro-suicide forum and that's easier to sell when you can make an incel responsible for the existence of this forum because it allows you to just ignore the left-wing, anti-oppressive trans woman who has been suicidal for many years, who supports individual autonomy and meaningful suicide prevention via systemic change. In other words, talking about my background would humanize this community to a degree. It's all tied to their narrative.

And no, I'm not saying these journalists are conspiring together and working out the best way to smear this forum. It's all coming together naturally, lazy journalists talking to the same few dishonest people and other lazy journalists just copy-pasting the narratives of other articles. I mean, if the BBC calls us "pro-suicide", it has to be correct, right? And you can kinda guess their political viewpoints on certain topics when you read their articles and some of those who have reported on us have a very clear opinion on this forum, as you can see here and here and that contributes to their bias. Why else would they be a member of a anti-Sanctioned Suicide Facebook group? I wasn't aware that journalists should have an opinion on subjects they research but it explains why there isn't even an attempt to write nuanced articles. Tony Smith also complimented these vigilantes who harassed members for their 'hard work', again proving that there is a clear opinion on our forum... We're the bad guys, period.

And look, it was no problem for me to debunk the NYT when they wrote an article about our forum and just recently I updated my response to them with more empirical data because that's how I approach these subjects unlike these journalists. I don't just make claims, I try to back them up with data whenever possible. I have also addressed the SN hysteria in another thread. I don't fear to challenge the media and confront myself with their claims, it gives me great joy to dunk on these clowns who imply in their articles that we contribute to a rising suicide rate when they're unable to provide evidence for such claims. And there is also data that indicates easy informational access to resources regarding ways to exercise your right to die (in plain terms how to commit suicide) does not increase the overall suicide rate but it rather influences how people exercise their right to die. And it makes sense, this kind of information only affects those who already made a decision to end their life. People think reading peaceful ways to exercise your right to die somehow makes you magically suicidal and having open access to methods therefore increases the amount of people who end their lives but again, that's not how it works. The media always portrayed the forum as the single most important contributing factor to a member's suicidality but people are already suicidal when they make an account - as I explained above. And it's a voluntary process. Nobody has ever forced someone to sign up on this forum and we don't advertise this forum either. Every single member has a feature on their profile to deactive their account and leave whenever they desire. There is nothing that keeps anyone here who doesn't feel comfortable with the subjects discussed in this forum. And again, we see why people make an account here, there are so many people who describe their lifelong struggles with suicidality, their suffering that's been a part of their entire life and failed attempts to recover as reasons why they want to make an account here. All of this contradicts the idea that people are trapped in some kind of pro-suicide prison, where people are sucked in and unable to leave. The entire premise of the reporting about this forum is based on the misconception that people who stumble upon this forum, healthy people with no struggles at all, magically commit suicide because the content of this forum is literally brainwashing them and the data I've included in my response to the NYT or the BBC does not confirm that idea. In fact it debunks the idea that this forum has any meaningful impact on nationwide suicide numbers, both in the US and in the UK. We don't change the metrics, even if we tried we couldn't. That's the reality.

It's a blatant misrepresentation of how suicide works in its entirety. People make an account here by choice. They participate in this forum voluntarily. And any decision they make for their own life has little to do with this forum. They're conflating causation and correlation. We don't make people think about committing suicide. People who think about commiting suicide make an account here. That's an important difference. But that would again go against the narrative.

It's also weird that the recovery section is invisible to everyone who thinks we're pro-suicide. Maybe I'm hallucinating but pro-suicide communities aren't exactly known for their recovery resources...

And none of those articles covering our forum with sensationalist headlines seem to remember that pro-choice communities have existed as long as the internet, as these articles from 2011 and 2015 prove. It's safe to say that the philosophy of this community will not disappear but re-emerge under a different name if this forum is taken down successfully and no amount of oppression and censorship will change that, as long as fundamental flaws in the treatment of suicidal people aren't addressed. And calling us pro-suicide at this point is merely an admission that you don't want to talk about the real problems.

Last but not least, what's "pro-suicide" seems to be highly subjective. The BBC covered the topic of assisted suicide a few years ago and they were even accused of a pro-suicide bias. It's almost as if people who disagree with the right to die will attack anything that's remotely pro-choice, hm? Utterly ironic though that the BBC was attacked with the exact same slander that we have to endure right now.

We're almost done with my thread but I also want to shed some light on some academic research to further back up my position. For example, this academic paper here, which dives into the ethical dilemma of pro-choice forums, looking at both pro-life and pro-choice viewpoints and at possible solutions for the ideological conflicts that's at play here between both parties.


And, would you look at that, very early in that paper it acknowledges that the media very often describes pro-choice forums as "pro-suicide", combined with calls to shut them down. And that's exactly what's happening here and that's exactly the reason why I'm writing this thread. So again, maybe journalists aren't really doing much research here as pointed out earlier and maybe they're just dismissing this forum as pro-suicide without knowing what they're talking about or what this forum stands for. I can only recommend to read this paper, it's very interesting and it also explores the ethical conflict in communities like ours when it comes to more controversial methods like train rails due to the fact that bystanders and third parties are involved in that method. Very interesting paper and obviously approaching the issue from an open mind - unlike those journalists.
Here are some snippets.​

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That paper cites a professor and researcher who is located in Canada, who has written some work about suicide, see here.


And it's by far one of the best academic papers on the subject of suicide from an anti-oppressive perspective. Here is a snippet of their proposals. And it's honestly the best thing I've read in a long time. Like that's exactly what I've been talking about all these years. That's how real suicide prevention could look like without throwing people under the bus who sincerely want to die. But yeah... journalist who have no idea what goes through the mind of a suicidal person will never understand that. Here is a snippet.​

View attachment 132694

So maybe some of those Canada-based journalists who have called us a pro-suicide forum want to reach out to actual experts on this issue before they just slander an entire community as pro-suicide? Like again, why do I have to read and link these academic papers? Why is it obvious that none of the journalists covering this forum did their research, not even basic research, looking into the ethical considerations around spaces like ours? Like, the academic discourse on suicide forums has been going for a while and there are answers that already tell you why this forume exists and why people use it. Why there is a demand. And the answers aren't as sinister as you'd like.

On top of that, there is also another academic paper that looked into this forum back in 2021 and they didn't find any suicide incitement. They said idea reinforcemenet might be present that's a very different claim than us "encouraging" suicide. They also call us a pro-choice suicide forum in that study, which I think is a more accurate depiction and it makes sense given researchers care about the truth and not about exciting headlines.


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So how is that for scientific evidence?
This entire thread is me going out of my way to address allegations which have been thrown around for years without ever being substantiated by anyone. None of those journalists have ever been able to back up up their questionable accusation that we're pro-suicide, that we encourage suicide or similiar claims. And that's concerning. As a journalist you have a duty to report the truth. It's not your job to make up your reader's minds but that's what you've been doing by making the decision for them if the forum you're reporting about is pro-choice or not. You have violated basic principles of good journalism and you clearly don't care to uphold any journalistic objectivity in any of your articles covering this forum. In other words: you're bad reporters.

And again, I didn't have to write this thread yet I did it anyway - because I wanted to. I don't have a problem responding to these journalists and taking them apart. I've done it for years. And it goes without saying that I don't take any journalist or reporter seriously who calls us pro-suicide and in my humble opinion, neither should you. They just expose their own ideological bias when they do that. Scientific articles to this day describe us as pro-choice, such as this one that just came out a few days ago. Odd, isn't it? And I also linked to an academic paper that doesn't use charged language, that take nuance into consideration and recognises there might be no incitement but reinforcement instead which blows the entire pro-suicide construct apart. That's my conclusion after reading it but you're free to make up your own mind. I spent quite a lot of time writing this thread and I tried to include research backing up my position, something that people who call us pro-suicide never do.

That was the first and last time that I've addressed these allegations. And I hope I explained why it's problematic to call us pro-suicide, why it's problematic that the journalists obviously don't care about truthful coverage, why it's problematic to ally with vigilantes and why it's problematic to neglect the academic discourse. Obviously, this thread isn't going to change the narrative because they don't care. Reporters covering this forum ususally ignore threads like this one where I directly respond to their claims, correcting misinformation. But I hope at least my community gets something out of it and I'm at least on the record now responding to these allegations. Thanks for reading.​
I want to get better. I want to be well. I want everyone on here to be well.

But whilst I'm not well, this place has been a light for me. Confronting what I'm going through empowers me.

My condition controls my mind. And communicating the sheer strength of that with others whom understand can help me take back control.

If I act for better or worse it will have nothing to do with this forum. I'm not well and that's all there is to it.

I'm grateful this platform exists and grateful for those on here whom don't make me feel so alone with mine.
 
J

JamieD

Member
Feb 28, 2021
45
All I can say is that this forum, or shoud I say, more like a home has been an absolute blessing for me. I have been here for many years and many times I could have CTB, but it has been the acceptance to share my issues and not be judged, well I am still here. When my Mum died just over 2 years ago, I thought my entire world would fall apart and in many ways it did but it was this forum that gave me solice and believe it or not, hope. I am pro-choice and I respect all choices. To be honest, I do not believe there is one person here who would ever consider CTB on a whim, I know I wouldn't. If other medics were more open and understanding and actually listen to people and I mean truly listen, I believe this would give a greater respect to those who actually CTB. Thank you.
 
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onbekend

onbekend

Student
Jan 14, 2024
189
To be honest, I can understand what would give people the impression that the site is pro-suicide when you're first on here. Especially if you've never had depression or suicidal thoughts for a long period of time. But the fact that so-called journalists couldn't take a single second to do even an ounce of research (which I can say with confidence would prove pretty quickly that the site is definitely pro-choice) really speaks volumes to how much their opinion matters. If you're gonna become a journalist and write articles about this site, You could do the bare minimum and at least LOOK at the posts here - Because I guarantee that the people who wrote any articles on this site haven't done that.
 
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isthisit?

isthisit?

The name's Cedrik
Jun 23, 2023
128
I mostly agree but there are some characters on this forum who are trying to further peoples depression and that is in at least my opinion wrong in the sense that the people who come here should make their own choice and we shouldnt push them any further.
 

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