It is respectful to get permission from the family of the deceased before announcing someone’s death.To reduce negative effects on others, make it clear that there is likely to be detailed information and images of people who have died. This is particularly important for certain cultural groups and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
If you need help managing the social media accounts of someone who has died, please see the relevant platforms’ help centers. You may have the option of memorialising, deactivating or deleting the account.
Helpful things you can include in your content
- Post and share only what you know to be true. For example, that the person has died, without sharing any graphic details about how and where. Avoid speculating about how and why the person died, or attributing the death to one event even if this is to try and make sense of what has happened. Sense-making can facilitate the grieving process, but it may be more helpful to do this privately or offline with trusted people or professionals.
- Correct untrue information.
- Ask others to demonstrate respect and empathy when communicating about the person who has died.
- Post or share content that educates others about suicide prevention. For example, that help is available, suicide is preventable, and many people have experienced suicidal thoughts and they have stopped or reduced or never acted on them.
- Provide links to helplines.
Things to avoid
Remind others to be mindful of the impact their comments may have on others. To reduce the risk of distress and potential negative effects, avoid:
- Posting or sharing inaccurate or unverified information.
- Posting or sharing content that depicts when, how, with whom or where the person died.
- Encouraging other people to die by suicide or imitate how the person died.
- Speculating or forming theories without any evidence on why the person took their life or their thoughts, feelings, and actions in the lead-up to the suicide.
- Using humour when talking about the suicide even if it is meant in good faith.
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