Denmark considers clamping down on social media after Instagram influencer’s suicide note

The public suicide note remained online for 2 full days before Laursen herself took it down, having received treatment in a local hospital for an attempted pharmaceutical overdose.

In the aftermath, Danish Minister of children and Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil has proposed that influencers and bloggers must adhere to press ethics rules to avoid undue damage to the broader public, apparently increasing personal online responsibility whereas at the same time opening the door for a draconian digital nightmare.

“All journalists are accustomed to the press ethics rules that, as an example, that one must use caution regarding talking about suicide in the public area. When managing popular blogs with hundreds of thousands of followers, I think we can make identical demands,” Rosenkrantz-Theil told the newspaper Berlingske.

Rosenkrantz-Theil proposes the formation of a governmental board to enforce such rules which would be granted the authority to get rid of material in breach of whatever guidelines were created.
The politician outlined a situation whereby the influencers would have to designate 3 people to have the password for their accounts.

“These people can then remove a post if they believe it violates the press ethics although it was the blogger that posted it,” the minister explained, adding that in some instances, such influencers boast larger audiences than traditional media outlets.

She argued that, in the Laursen case, the woman’s family wanted the post taken down however had no recourse to do so except for contacting Instagram directly, which didn’t attain the required outcome.

The proposed Press Board would be afforded the right to criticize and ultimately, to censor, offending posts that broke any potential ethical guidelines. So as to make the somewhat far-fetched plan more possible, it’d be restricted to control those with over 5,000 followers.

“Dear suicidal girl. You’ll be punished for violating editorial standards for your public suicide note. Wow, how sympathetic,” Conservative politician Mette Abildgaard tweeted criticizing the suggestion. She added that, “According to Fie Laursen’s brother, Fie is so sick that she is admitted to a closed psychiatric ward” and that she doesn’t believe the threat of a press board would provide any meaningful answer in such instances.

In contrast, the Danish Bloggers Union welcomed discussion on the subject and claims it’s presently preparing its own system of rules.

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