jp: Land of the online death pact fights to save lives from the web

In the country where the world’s first internet suicide pact was forged, the battle to save lives is a desperate one.Cyberpatrols, web whistle-blowers and a special online suicide-watch police division have become the new front line in Japan’s half-decade battle with a scourge that first came to light on its shores.Despite Japan’s dismal record coping with its overall suicide rate, the fight with suicide chat rooms is – slowly – being won. Dozens of online forums where strangers met and pledged to end their lives together have been shut down.Internet service providers have become sentinels of their unhappiest clients. Software has been designed that trawls Japanese cyberspace for keywords that suggest that a suicide is in the offing.

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