Facebook To Update The Suicide Prevention Tools For FB Live Videos
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his recent manifesto has written about how Facebook is in a unique place to help prevent people from doing harm to themselves. Worldwide, there is a suicide attempt every 40 seconds, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). Amongst those aged between 15-29 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of the death.
Now Facebook has unveiled new tools that provide support to people who may be suicidal, as well as the resources for friends of those who are feeling suicidal via Facebook Live and Messenger. These tools were in addition to the ones Facebook offers for people who will see concerning posts and desire to help their friends or family.
If you see something concerning on a Live video broadcast, you would see an option to contact an organization to receive help for yourself or to the broadcaster. Organizations participating are the National Eating Disorders Association, Crisis Text Line, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Through those partnerships, those who are in crisis would be able to immediately and directly connect with the mental health service providers through the Facebook Messenger.
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“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review the reports that come in and prioritize the most serious reports of suicide,” the company said in a blog post. “We work to address the posts expressing thoughts of suicide as quickly and accurately as possible,” it added.
Vanessa Callison-Burch, the Facebook’s Product Manager, told as quoted “What we heard from various people is any extra friction in someone that reaching out for the support can be the thing that stops them from getting support. We are hopeful that having this feature is an additional way to connect to support and reduces the friction.”
Facebook is also utilizing the artificial intelligence and pattern recognition based on the previously reported posts to identify posts by people who might be suicidal. If the pattern recognition tool flags a post, then the Facebook’s community operations team would review it and provide resources whenever necessary.
Facebook said that it might be possible in the future to bring these sort of AI and pattern recognition to Facebook’s Live and Messenger service, but the team said it is too early to tell for sure.
The new tools will also be extended to the Facebook posts as the company is rolling out features that report posts about suicide or self-injury. Those feeling depressed would have easier ways to contact the crisis workers through the Messenger.
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Last month, a 14-year-old Florida girl live streamed her suicide on Facebook. Nakia Venant, who had been in and out of support and care for more than seven years has killed herself several hours after she wrote on Facebook that mentioned as quoted “I Don’t Wanna Live No More,” and added a three sad-faced emojis. She was at least the third person to live-stream a suicide since the previous month.
Lately, Facebook has had some suicide prevention tools for more than a decade.