• Hey Visitor,

    In light of recent events, all community members in the US should reach out to their representative in regards to the Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act that has been introduced in congress. This bill, if passed, could criminalize this community and hold it liable for simply hosting information.

    You should be able to locate and contact your represenative by going to this website. You can also contact Lori Trahan, the one spearheading this bill by calling her office at (202) 225-3411 or by leaving a message on the contact form on her site.

    One of the best ways to combat this is to make your voice heard. We're not political activists, but we made this notice to let you know that you do have a voice and that you do have representives that represent you in congress.
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
It appears to me that folks have not read the actual bill or the bill sponsor's description of it. In its current form, it affects individual forum users. The forum itself is NOT affected. They will need to change a different, existing law before the forum can be shut down (The Communications Decency Act, Section 230).

The bill makes assisting suicide "through certain communications" into a felony at the federal level if the assisted person succeeds. [There is an exception for physician-assisted stuff where it is legal by state law.]

To be considered as providing ASSISTANCE you have to INTEND to facilitate suicide, and the person you are helping has to end up dying. It boils down to this:

1) Don't give material support (defined as a "tangible property"). So don't be sending stuff through the mail (or possibly give money?) for people to use to kill themselves.

2) Don't provide substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as it is occurring.

Either of these is against the rules of the site, BTW.

I just want you all to know exactly what it is that you will be communicating with your legislators. In effect, you will be saying, "I want it to be legal for me (and/or other people) to assist suicide." Think about whether that is an argument you can make and support: why assisting suicide should be legal. You could also argue against this bill based on "free speech." [See below.] Anything pertaining to the web site is off topic in discussing the bill. You should also know, what the situation is in your state. Most of the US states already consider assisting suicide to be a felony. I think most people here already know this, and if not, then you know now.

Source: I read the bill. Please read the actual bill before you attempt to come at me. Thank you.

Edit: Personally, I am not ready, willing, or able to contact my Rep or my Senators to have this discussion. [In actuality, it will most likely be a staff member or intern who will read what you send or listen to you, most likely without even passing along.] I will be going to bat when Section 230 is on the chopping block, as it most likely will be at some point.

Edit2: You could also argue against this bill based on "free speech." But they have used the results of a previous Minnesota State Supreme Court ruling to try to get around this. The main thing they did was give a definition that limits the applicable time frame to "at the same time as the the attempt or act of suicide is occurring." They also defined as assistance "substantial communication facilitating the suicide." Friends... I think the argument would be that this is vague (what does "substantial" mean? what does "facilitating" mean?). They can make an argument that the interest in preserving life is "compelling" (as the word is used in considering whether stuff is constitutional). But I think there can be an argument as to whether "speech" can be considered as "assistance."

Source2: This has discussion of a case that went to the Minnesota State Supreme Court. If you look at Source1 and Source2 side by side, you can see that Rep Trahan's bill did try to deal with the constitutionality question.
 
Last edited:
Rounded Apathy

Rounded Apathy

Longing to return to stardust
Aug 8, 2022
729
Thank you. I read it earlier today (it's hella short, people; you read enough being here, read the damn thing), and honestly I don't really know what the hell is up with the mods inciting people to get at their senators, without any direction no less. There are plenty of members who are very precise with their language, well spoken and articulate, and plenty who are...less so, from whom mass communication in a time and tone of desperation I can realistically see making things worse, actually.

Readers of this thread, please help keep it visible.
 
Last edited:
F

Forever Sleep

Earned it we have...
May 4, 2022
1,268
Interesting- so- if I am understanding this correctly- megathreads on method will still be permissible (Aren't they primarily based on the PPH?) but it will be unwise as individuals to give out detailed information (especially sources) on method. (If the bill passes.)

'Don't provide substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as it is occurring.' The specification of 'the same time as it is occuring' is also interesting- doesn't seem to relate to CTB plans (which is what most of us are doing- not livestreaming instructions!)

Thanks so much for posting. Think it will put many minds at more rest than before. I'm not in the US, so not sure there's much I can do to 'help' but anything like this is troubling for all of us.
 
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
Interesting- so- if I am understanding this correctly- megathreads on method will still be permissible (Aren't they primarily based on the PPH?) but it will be unwise as individuals to give out detailed information (especially sources) on method. (If the bill passes.)

'Don't provide substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as it is occurring.' The specification of 'the same time as it is occuring' is also interesting- doesn't seem to relate to CTB plans (which is what most of us are doing- not livestreaming instructions!)

Thanks so much for posting. Think it will put many minds at more rest than before. I'm not in the US, so not sure there's much I can do to 'help' but anything like this is troubling for all of us.
Yes. They have made it very narrow because part of a previous state law was held to be unconstitutional. In the US, they have to be very careful about the government limiting free speech.
 
WhiteRabbit

WhiteRabbit

I'm late, i'm late. For a very important date.
Feb 12, 2019
907
Thank you. I read it earlier today (it's hella short, people; you read enough being here, read the damn thing), and honestly I don't really know what the hell is up with the mods inciting people to get at their senators, without any direction no less. There are plenty of members who are very precise with their language, well spoken and articulate, and plenty who are...less so, from whom mass communication in a time and tone of desperation I can realistically see making things worse, actually.

Readers of this thread, please help keep it visible.
Agreed, I can imagine that people from this site contacting their reps and rambling about pro-lifers and whatnot is going to hurt us more than help us.
 
piger

piger

Every waking moment I spiral further into insanity
Dec 11, 2021
65
You've given us a bit to consider here, but I'm still concerned about the future of this site and it's users. This site still has a bad rep among the public and with senators. Their main motivations go beyond this simple bill.

Then again 4chan is allowed to exist. Nothing happening here would be the most likely possibility.
 
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
You've given us a bit to consider here, but I'm still concerned about the future of this site and it's users. This site still has a bad rep among the public and with senators. Their main motivations go beyond this simple bill.

Then again 4chan is allowed to exist. Nothing happening here would be the most likely possibility.
Yes. I hope I didn't imply there is NOTHING to worry about with respect to the future of the site. A modification of Section 230 and/or putting pressure on ISPs is how they will harm the site. Section 230 is what "Fix the 26" refers to. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are having issues with Section 230, so it is kind of expected that it will be opened up and looked at.
 
makethepainstop

makethepainstop

Enlightened
Sep 16, 2022
1,919
It appears to me that folks have not read the actual bill or the bill sponsor's description of it. In its current form, it affects individual forum users. The forum itself is NOT affected. They will need to change a different, existing law before the forum can be shut down (The Communications Decency Act, Section 230).

The bill makes assisting suicide "through certain communications" into a felony at the federal level if the assisted person succeeds. [There is an exception for physician-assisted stuff where it is legal by state law.]

To be considered as providing ASSISTANCE you have to INTEND to facilitate suicide, and the person you are helping has to end up dying. It boils down to this:

1) Don't give material support (defined as a "tangible property"). So don't be sending stuff through the mail (or possibly give money?) for people to use to kill themselves.

2) Don't provide substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as it is occurring.

Either of these is against the rules of the site, BTW.

I just want you all to know exactly what it is that you will be communicating with your legislators. You will be saying, "I want it to be legal for me (and/or other people) to assist suicide." That is the argument you need to make and support: why assisting suicide should be legal. Anything other than advocating for assisting suicide is off topic in discussing the bill. You should also know, what the situation is in your state. Most of the US states already consider assisting suicide to be a felony. I think most people here already know this, and if not, then you know now.

Source: I read the bill. Please read the actual bill before you attempt to come at me. Thank you.

Edit: Personally, I am not ready, willing, or able to contact my Rep or my Senators to have this discussion. [In actuality, it will most likely be a staff member or intern who will read what you send or listen to you, most likely without even passing along.] I will be going to bat when Section 230 is on the chopping block, as it most likely will be at some point.
Personally, I wish that when someone wants to make a law that infringes on the rights of others, they would wind up with a shot to their head from a sniper, or perhaps a good knifing.
I have always and always will hate those who pretend to be doing something good when what they are doing is merely something to stroke their ego because they have a low self-esteem.
Of course, they want to be noticed and receive recognition, so to get their jollies they like to make others suffer. It truly amazes me that these people think they can do things against others and emerge unscathed. Someone should tell the congresswoman behind this that annoying already suicidal people, might have some bad consequences for her future good health. If people don't fear death, how do you guard against them going psycho on your ass?
I suggest this congresswoman might want to abandon this ill-conceived action. (And can I tell everyone here I really hate this spell-checking program!)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Euthanza
9BBN

9BBN

Heaven, send Hell away
Mar 29, 2021
377
I'm no legal expert, but the gist I'm getting is that this bill mostly threatens to criminalize sharing suicide resources. Individuals can refrain from "method talk," but doesn't this affect the moderators' abilities to host old "method talk" and even the suicide resources compilation?

Also the bill says "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring". So unless someone says they're attempting or about to attempt, is it fine to host suicide information?
 
  • Like
Reactions: niki
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
I'm no legal expert, but the gist I'm getting is that this bill mostly threatens to criminalize sharing suicide resources. Individuals can refrain from "method talk," but doesn't this affect the moderators' abilities to host old "method talk" and even the suicide resources compilation?
I am not a legal expert either, but as I read it, sharing information (even method talk) remains legal... just as they cannot criminalize people from publishing books with the info. The way to stop it is for non-government actors to put pressure on book publishers, book sellers, and ISPs.
Also the bill says "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring". So unless someone says they're attempting or about to attempt, is it fine to host suicide information?
As I continue looking at it, I think the bill may be overly vague.

Yes. Hosting the info will still be LEGAL (but may be limited by other means, such as "Terms and Conditions" of ISPs). The communications that are occurring while someone is in the process of attempting are what can potentially be considered as "assistance." Right now it says "substantial communication facilitating the suicide." I think that could be considered a judgement call, and the law isn't supposed to be a subjective/judgement call type of a thing.
 
9BBN

9BBN

Heaven, send Hell away
Mar 29, 2021
377
I am not a legal expert either, but as I read it, sharing information (even method talk) remains legal... just as they cannot criminalize people from publishing books with the info. The way to stop it is for non-government actors to put pressure on book publishers, book sellers, and ISPs.

As I continue looking at it, I think the bill may be overly vague.

Yes. Hosting the info will still be LEGAL (but may be limited by other means, such as "Terms and Conditions" of ISPs). The communications that are occurring while someone is in the process of attempting are what can potentially be considered as "assistance." Right now it says "substantial communication facilitating the suicide." I think that could be considered a judgement call, and the law isn't supposed to be a subjective/judgement call type of a thing.
I guess my concern is with a specific interpretation of the bill. If someone is logged into this forum and reading the suicide resources compilation as they ctb, can prosecutors argue that the moderators of this forum are "providing material support" which "specifically aims to facilitate the individual's suicide", "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring"?
 
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
I guess my concern is with a specific interpretation of the bill. If someone is logged into this forum and reading the suicide resources compilation as they ctb, can prosecutors argue that the moderators of this forum are "providing material support" which "specifically aims to facilitate the individual's suicide", "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring"?
It would be the same as having a book open in front of you.
 
W

woknows

Experienced
Dec 12, 2020
242
Sounds good to me. There are sociopaths who get off on other people's suffering. I see no problem if such garbage ends up behind bars.
 
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
Honestly that place should be the canary in the coalmine; if anything goes, it realistically ought to be among, if not the first.

Congrats @Cathy Ames - this post has been pinned. Despite the banner still showing up telling people to take up arms. Lol
I'm not sure how well I'm communicating. There are other things going on in the world that do affect the forum itself. This bill is a thing to be aware of for sure (particularly in terms of what people say in goodbye threads and suchlike). But calling up lawmakers and talking about THE FORUM and saying things that defend THE FORUM (with respect to this bill) is not an effective use of resources.
 
Exact Change

Exact Change

A life of mistakes
Nov 6, 2022
78
"...or with substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring."

Not sure if I am interpreting this correctly.
So, if a member posts as they start their attempt to ctb (same time as an attempt), members should be careful as to what is said in the thread as far as the suggestions regarding the process of their method. Does that sound accurate?
 
wait.what

wait.what

no really, what?
Aug 14, 2020
383
I guess my concern is with a specific interpretation of the bill. If someone is logged into this forum and reading the suicide resources compilation as they ctb, can prosecutors argue that the moderators of this forum are "providing material support" which "specifically aims to facilitate the individual's suicide", "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring"?

That’s somewhat unclear, but I personally think they could, yes. I also think that this bill will not proceed because of that. @Cathy Ames said above that providing info as a suicide occurs is no different from having a copy of “Final Exit” in front of you as you ctb. This is true enough, and I don’t think that the U.S. government is going to adopt legislation that could criminalize book sellers, ISP’s, or websites. That would be commercial, and therefore political, suicide. And we all know that suicide sends you straight to hell, don’t we, kids!

Still a cause for concern. And I'm not even American. It's always worrying when prolifers might gain any kind of ground.

It is a cause for concern. It’s just not a cause for panic.

It’s annoying af that people in the worst pain of their lives have to fool around with this political football shit, but here we all are. If you’re a U.S. citizen, please consider keeping your eye on this bill as it either makes its way through the legislative process, or (more likely) doesn’t. Its number is HR 9260, and here is its congressional tracking page. It is possible to sign up for alerts regarding the bill’s status. Click the “get alerts” link under where it says “H.R.9260 - Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act.”
 
HumansAreHell

HumansAreHell

Member
Aug 31, 2022
33
It’s annoying af that people in the worst pain of their lives have to fool around with this political football shit, but here we all are. If you’re a U.S. citizen, please consider keeping your eye on this bill as it either makes its way through the legislative process, or (more likely) doesn’t. Its number is HR 9260, and here is its congressional tracking page. It is possible to sign up for alerts regarding the bill’s status. Click the “get alerts” link under where it says “H.R.9260 - Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act.”
Thanks for the rest of this info, I’m not very good with this stuff and this made things much easier for me I really appreciate it.

Same to you Cathy I really appreciate this all being put together and shed in a more clear less panicked way for everyone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashu
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
"...or with substantial communication facilitating the suicide at the same time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring."

Not sure if I am interpreting this correctly.
So, if a member posts as they start their attempt to ctb (same time as an attempt), members should be careful as to what is said in the thread as far as the suggestions regarding the process of their method. Does that sound accurate?
That is my understanding of it. [I am not a lawyer.]



I guess my concern is with a specific interpretation of the bill. If someone is logged into this forum and reading the suicide resources compilation as they ctb, can prosecutors argue that the moderators of this forum are "providing material support" which "specifically aims to facilitate the individual's suicide", "at the time as an attempt or act of suicide is occurring"?
That’s somewhat unclear, but I personally think they could, yes.

If we are still talking about the US... my understanding is that the platform is protected unless or until Section 230 is changed or possibly until that other "duty of care" thing passes? I'll go look at it again. But perhaps that is the end game. This could be another thing that gets folded into the omnibus. [I was thinking this bill was lip service, but perhaps it is part of a combo-pack.]
 
Chinaski

Chinaski

Arthur Scargill appreciator
Sep 1, 2018
2,874
Thank you. I read it earlier today (it's hella short, people; you read enough being here, read the damn thing), and honestly I don't really know what the hell is up with the mods inciting people to get at their senators, without any direction no less. There are plenty of members who are very precise with their language, well spoken and articulate, and plenty who are...less so, from whom mass communication in a time and tone of desperation I can realistically see making things worse, actually.

Readers of this thread, please help keep it visible.
Honestly? This idea was absolutely dumb as hell and I've no idea what the mods expected to gain from such a suggestion. I can barely get past the first paragraph of any of the HEY PROLIFERS, READ MY 20000 WORD DISSERTATION ON HOW MUCH YOU SUCK threads without cringing my balls off, and often those who seek to represent this forum in a political way are those whose enthusiasm for being seen as front and centre in some supposed ideological warfare will ultimately get the better of them. Dunning Kruger is absolutely rampant here and it's not wise to encourage it imo.
 
W

Wannagonow

Member
Nov 16, 2022
56
Enlightening information. Appreciate you putting it together and sharing. I just recently found SS . With my own concerns about some beaurocrat dismantling SS, I'm taking your suggestion and reading the bill tonight. Thanks for your efforts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: damaged_soul
W

Wisdom3_1-9

he/him/his
Jul 19, 2020
1,740
Thank you for sharing this info. It puts me more at ease. I’ve been rather upset since learning about the bill. It is true that the bill’s scope is narrow. But why then do the press releases (and the sponsors’ own statements) lean so heavily on the forums? Is it to make it seem like the bill is doing more than it actually is? Or is it just the first step in a larger plan? Does it create some loophole by which they can still get to the forums? It’s times like this I wish I studied law so I could have some greater insight.

am i the only one who thinks it’s a bad idea to be giving out your personal information to government bodies, especially as a user of this site? i would just be painting a target on my back by showing my disdain for the bill
Definitely not the only one. I wanted to do whatever I could to defend this site, but I was deterred by two thoughts: 1) No letter, regardless how profound or well thought-out, would change their minds; 2) I sure as hell wasn’t going to give my personal information to anyone.
 
Cathy Ames

Cathy Ames

Ephemeral Machine
Mar 11, 2022
1,779
It is true that the bill’s scope is narrow. But why then do the press releases (and the sponsors’ own statements) lean so heavily on the forums?
[And also the title of it.]
Is it to make it seem like the bill is doing more than it actually is?
I initially thought that it was for that reason. But maybe it is a first step or intended to work in conjunction with something else. Or else they intend to amend the heck out of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: damaged_soul
Rocket

Rocket

Member
Oct 12, 2022
12
In the early days of the internet, I was involved in the drafting of Section 230 back in the 90s. It started with CompuServe and Prodigy, early online networks with message forums, and dealt with liability for messages posted on the network. Without being indemnified, every single message would have to be reviewed and that would be nearly impossible. Most of the screamers calling for changes to 230 have no idea what they're talking about. If 230 were repealed, there would be chaos and less free speech because insurance premiums (Errors and Omissions, Directors and Officers, Liability) would become prohibitively expensive and all messages would have to be screened for liability before posting, which would require at least thousands of reviewers. That's what China does and it's a nightmare (and not allowed under our 1st Amendment). Here's history and background about Section 230 and why it was, and is, vital to free speech interests: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/21/...t-created-the-internet-jeff-kosseff-interview

Cathy's done a great job explaining the draft of the bill. It's at a very early stage. Note at the top it's just called a DISCUSSION DRAFT. It's far from legislative language. And now, Congress is in it's lame duck session until January when the GOP will gain a very slim House majority. So far they've expressed no interest in governing or helping people; they're back to irrelevant investigations and culture wars. The GOP is also (somewhat hypocritically) pushing their "absolute free speech" positions, so the chance of movement on this seem slim. Cathy's also right about the forum itself vs. individual messages (in the three page Discussion Draft, the individual message criteria are very unclearly drafted). As Cathy said, please read the three-page Discussion Draft, it does have some general thoughts on things to consider commenting on or not. But knowing the slow wheels of government and the massive changes that are about to happen on Capitol Hill, it would be remarkable to see something like this make it out of committee, let alone make it to the House floor for a vote then proceed onward (see Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just A Bill" :).

It seems really premature to begin lobbying members of Congress about this. Can't imagine very many Members even know about it. Constituents bringing it up might backfire and attract more interest. If it moves forward, there will be key times to lobby. I believe this forum has every right to exist under 230, 1st Amendment free speech is being exercised, and almost all messages I've seen posted haven't been close to their standard of "material support". Just wanted to affirm Cathy's excellent posts and join in to encourage peace and calm.
 
R

Rogue

Member
Mar 10, 2022
29
am i the only one who thinks it’s a bad idea to be giving out your personal information to government bodies, especially as a user of this site? i would just be painting a target on my back by showing my disdain for the bill
Exactly đź’Ż that's what I was thinking as well....
 
N

nolifer

Member
Dec 25, 2020
97
My perspective is when they make vague laws that aren't explicit then there will be some authority who gets to use their own judgement in what breaks the law. If the government wants to get rid of something then it's going to be an uphill battle for in this case us. Even if the politicians are on our side they can be bypassed, for example cops are supposed to need warrants signed by a judge but they can bypass the whole system and just request/buy the data from corporations instead without any warrants needed.

I will start going through my favorite topics and copy pasting the most important posts to a file on my computer just in case.

I also want to say I think method dicussions should remain because removing dicussions about methods doesn't make anyone less suicidal. If they really want to suicide then they'll do it anyway even if they didn't know about this forum. The big risk is just that they will have a very painful method when they don't know what they're doing. Maybe they'll use bird shot to blow off half their face and nose but still remain alive, or maybe they'll jump from somewhere that's not tall enough then they'll slowly bleed to death in great pain with bones sticking out of their bodies. Or maybe they'll drink some chemicals which only makes them wish even more they are dead.

But the scary thing is that it seems like most people actually prefer a suicidal person to survive with their face blown off, they actually think that's a better out come than if they succeded with a painless and quick suicide. Makes no sense to me. Maybe it's a religious thing?