Sportswriter blogs his suicide

**WARNING: The following is a link with detailed information about how a man planned and executed his own death. Also, the link may not work because network administrators have been shutting it down.**

Sportswriter Martin Manley meticulously planned and blogged about his suicide. Manley spent the last year of his life blogging about his life and how and why he planned to commit suicide. On the morning of his death he paid for 5 years worth of Yahoo web-hosting services, published his site, and then ended his life. Yahoo quickly shut down the site, citing it violated the terms of service. Within hours, hacker group Anonymous had republished the site. Yahoo! has not confirmed whether or not they will refund the 5 year payment to Manley’s family. His family has appealed Yahoo’s decision and Yahoo! has stood by their decision. 

This is an interesting ethical conundrum. The obvious, is Yahoo! not wanting to be associated with or accused of advocating suicide. The second is money–should Manley’s family be reimbursed the amount he paid for the web hosting service? Then there is Martin Manley’s side of the story. He made a very detailed website about his life and his decision so his friends and family would have closure, and a place to go and remember him.  A trip to a digital cemetery, so to speak. Do they not deserve to have that? Often times deceased loved ones are memorialized on social media. Why not a blog site? Had Manley blogged about his death if he were terminally ill would it be different? 


2 thoughts on “Sportswriter blogs his suicide

  1. Wow what an interesting post! There are a couple of points I want to make.

    1) Should this have been more private? There are pros and cons to this being public.
    -Anyone who has dealt with a loved one committing suicide might read this website and get some sort of comfort out of it because the biggest question loved ones ask is “why?”
    -In a more medical way this could allow physicians to really dig deep into someone’s suffering and they could potentially help someone from the insight gained from the website.
    -Someone who is suicidal might read this and find that they actually do not want to go through with taking their lives.

    -Potential embarrassment to the family by means of having very private information open to the public.
    -Contrary to the pro, someone who is suicidal might read this and think this was a great way to end their lives therefore going through with the act and creating a website to explain in great detail why they made their decision.
    -Suicide is a very graphic subject and to have a website describing the details about their own personal suicide can be too gory for some innocent minds on the internet.
    -Going along with the con above, there could be a little kid searching the web who does not even know what suicide is and then they find this website.

    2) Should Yahoo have taken the website down?
    -This was a man’s dying wish.
    -It was for his family and friends to come a celebrate the life and morn the loss of their loved one.
    -He paid for the site to be up for 5 years.
    -The site could be used for research and if it is harder to access then less people will be able to see it.

    -It could come off as Yahoo supporting suicide.
    -It looks bad for Yahoo’s reputation
    -The gory content of the website could potentially make it inappropriate for young viewers.

    There are many more points to address to this article but these were the two biggest points in my opinion.

    1. I agree that this was incredibly complex.
      This discussion could be an entire class period.

      Ultimately, while I understand Yahoo’s decision to remove the site, I think it was wrong. I like the unregulated aspects of the internet, and I don’t think that Martin Manley crossed the line, compared to a website that details how to end life.

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