‘Suicide’ query prompts Google to offer hotline number

Last week, Google’s search engine started automatically suggesting where users can call for counseling if they type in a search term that appears to focus on suicide, reports the New York Times. Among the searches that result in an icon of a red phone and the toll-free number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are “ways to commit suicide” and “suicidal thoughts.” The information takes precedence over the linked results and is different and more prominent than an advertisement. Guidance on suicide prevention was suggested internally and was put in place on March 31, Google says. This is only the second time Google has added such guidance on troubling search terms, said Dr. Roni Zeiger, chief health strategist for Google. A few months ago, the search engine began providing a phone number for the national poison control hotline after searches like “poison emergency…”

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