Bebo ‘inspiring’ suicide craze

Strange internet cult sparks fear of teen suicides

A string of teen suicides in South Wales have been linked to social networking site Bebo.

Police in the town of Bridgend are growing increasingly worried about a cult-like mentality among some young people who they believe may be killing themselves in the hope of obtaining immortality on Bebo web pages. Over the past year, the toll of teenagers having committed suicide has reached seven.

The latest victim, 17-year-old Natasha Randall, hanged herself at her family home last Thursday. Within hours a tribute page appeared online, urging friends to leave condolence messages, pictures and videos.

Less than a day later, two of her friends also attempted suicide – one remains on a life support machine, while the other is recovering at home.

The mother of one of the deceased, 20-year-old Thomas Davies, said: ‘It’s like a craze – a stupid sort of fad. They all seem to be copying each other by wanting to die.

‘I think the problem is they do not know how to speak like adults about serious issues like this. They can speak to each other on the computer but do not know how to express their emotions in other ways.

‘He did go on Bebo and apparently he had a page on there. He must have discussed his other friends dying on there because it had upset him.

‘Like most parents, I have no idea how to get on these sites or what other kids are talking about. But I would warn other parents to beware and to keep a close eye on their children.’

A police source told the Telegraph: ‘Parents should keep a close watch on what their children are doing on the internet and what they are talking about.

‘It’s often easier for them to disclose their real feelings on a computer rather than face to face with an adult or even their friends, and social networking sites are the ideal way to do that.’

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