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A Study on the Intervention and Non-intervention Behaviors of UP Diliman Students When Encountering Suicidal Posts on Social Media

Goleta, P.N.G. (2019). A Study on the Intervention and Non-intervention Behaviors of UP Diliman Students When Encountering Suicidal Posts on Social Media. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.

Social media has become a primary venue for suicidal disclosures. Hence, a greater importance is placed on social media as a tool for intervention and prevention of suicide. In light of this, there has been an increasing need for a body of work that understands bystander decision-making when encountering online suicidal disclosures. Through the integration of concepts from the Decision Model of Bystander Intervention, the Ecological Model for Bystander Intervention, the Online Disinhibition Effect, the Theory of Media Desensitization, and the Schema Theory, this study sought to understand how UP Diliman students read and interpret suicidal posts, as well as build a narrative on the contexts behind their intervention and non-intervention behaviors when seeing suicidal content online. Through analyzing 20 in-depth interviews with UP Diliman students, the study found that students mainly encounter explicitly stated suicidal ideations, or non-explicit diclosures through memes, jokes, and quotes. When unsure, students rely on other evidences to confirm their suspicions. Social media still remains to be a primary avenue for students to provide intervention. However, numerous contexts, such as fear, lack of confidence, and the diffusion of responsibility, act as barriers to intervention. Surprisingly, students do not appear to be desensitized after repeated exposure to suicidal posts. However, they acknowledge that such disclosures do occur frequently online. Overall, this study led to the discover of multiple contexts behind intervention and non-intervention. Many of which, have not been encapsulated in the theories used. The results of this study stands testament to the power of social media in possibly saving lives

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