ABSTRACT

The Internet is home to a variety of sites devoted to self-hatred, self-harm and suicide. It also facilitates consumption focused on fascination with death and torture of people. This chapter reviews the most common forms of harm-advocating content including pro-self-injury, pro-suicide and pro-eating disorder sites as well as death sites focusing on actual murders and deaths. Findings based on our cross-national data show that exposure to different types of online harm-advocating content is a prevalent phenomenon, but differences between countries do exist. German young people are less likely to visit harm-advocating sites than young people in the UK, the US and Finland. Those who have been either exposed to or victimised by online hate also report higher rates of exposure to harm-advocating content. In addition, visiting sites devoted to harm-advocating material is linked to lower subjective wellbeing among respondents. Our findings show that it is important to understand online hate from a broader perspective and include measures related to self-hatred.