Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The latest blog trend - group suicide

The Christian Science Monitor has this utterly fascinating story up right now, concerning the latest hot new online trend in Japan - blogs that coordinate group suicides among strangers who don't want to die alone. I had no idea before reading the article, but it turns out that suicide is becoming a huge problem in that country, with more than 30,000 reported cases every year for seven years straight now - a per-capita rate more than twice of America's, and the highest level of any industrialized country on the planet. And according to the article, just in the first three months of 2005 alone there were twenty confirmed cases of group suicide organized via blog, resulting in 54 deaths.

So what exactly do we call this new class of blogs? "Anti-social networking?"