Online searches about suicide and suicidal methods soared in the weeks following the release of controversial Netflix drama "13 Reasons Why," about a teenage girl who killed herself, US researchers said Monday.
While the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine did not examine whether the number of actual suicides rose following the popular show's release, researchers called for the series to be removed from Netflix's site until it can be made safer.
Overall, suicide-related queries were 19 percent higher than expected following the show, said the research letter in JAMA.
"There were between 900,000 and 1,500,000 more suicide-related searches than expected during the 19 days following the series' release," said study co-author Mark Dredze, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University.
Phrases like "how to commit suicide" rose 26 percent, "commit suicide" was up 18 percent and "how to kill yourself" increased nine percent.
On the flip side, searches for phrases like "suicide hotline" were up 12 percent, and "suicide prevention" rose 23 percent.