Google and Amazon must do more after a British woman made a suicide pact with two people she met online and used the internet to buy poison, a coroner has said.
Chloe Macdermott, 43, died in May 2021 after buying a lethal substance from the US on Amazon.
An inquest at Inner West London Coroner’s Court was told earlier this month she had “formed an association” with two people.
A day later, she contacted them while her husband was away and “an agreement was made to act that night”.
Coroner Paul Roger, recording a conclusion of suicide, issued a prevention of future deaths report to Google and Amazon and said he believes they can stop similar tragedies.
He said it was concerning the forum Ms Macdermott used – and others like it – “encourage suicide, assist it by provision of information about suicide methods, counsel suicide by providing information about it and thereby potentially facilitate the commission of a criminal offence”.
Mr Roger said: “No age or other restrictions are in place to prevent access to children, vulnerable teenagers and vulnerable adults.
“Posts are made by users containing details of methods of suicide without any effective administration to remove such harmful content.”
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The coroner added that the availability of poison online and the fact Britons can have it delivered “without effective border and/or custom controls” is also concerning.
Google and Amazon must respond within 56 days and outline their action to prevent future deaths and a timetable for doing so.
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK