From birth to death, many individuals chronicle their lives online through blogs, pictures, games, Web sites, and social networks. Online spaces, created by the living about the dead, provide a glimpse into often invisible or silent grieving practices. To investigate the role computer-mediated communication (CMC) plays in influencing communication surrounding the often private and taboo topic of suicide, we analyzed the comments sections of MyDeathSpace.com. Our results suggest both a breaking down of social taboos (speaking ill of the dead) and a reaffirming of strict social norms (enforcing a narrow range of acceptable presentation of identity and purpose in life), highlighting how anonymity as a characteristic of CMC can influence our online communication about death.
Leonard, Lynette G. and Toller, Paige W., "Speaking Ill of the Dead: Anonymity and Communication About Suicide on MyDeathSpace.com" (2012). Communication Faculty Publications. 73.