Following are the headlines from the various websites reporting suicides related to Facebook live.
- Aspiring actor streams his suicide on Facebook Live from his car.
- Miami schoolgirl Nakia Venant, 14, streamed her suicide – at her foster home in Florida.
- 12-year-old, Katelyn Nicole Davis from the US state of Georgia hanged herself live on camera
A really disturbing trend that we witnessed last year was the increasing frequency of suicides streamed Live on Facebook. The trend became so toxic that Facebook recently had to acknowledge it and do something about it! An official statement by the Social Media giant recently said that they are “updating the tools and resources we offer to people who may be thinking of suicide, as well as the support we offer to their concerned friends and family members.”
Although, Facebook’s existing suicide prevention tools have been available for users since over a decade; the new feature will be integrated into Facebook Live. According to Mark Zuckerberg’s blog post on Feb 17, he said that “There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner. There are cases of bullying and harassment every day, that our team must be alerted to before we can help out. These stories show we must find a way to do more.”
Following are the updates
- Integrated suicide prevention tools to help people in real time on Facebook Live
- Live chat support from crisis support organizations through Messenger
- Streamlined reporting for suicide, assisted by artificial intelligence
For this, Facebook has partnered with organizations such as Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Forefront and Crisis Text Line. The internet can actually be a powerful resource for those seeking help when dealing with suicidal thoughts!
The company is also streamlining the process to report posts about suicide or self-injury. And someone feeling depressed will have easier ways to contact crisis workers through Messenger.
While streaming Live on Facebook, one can now see a list of suicide prevention resources on their screen. They can choose to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline or see the tips. If you want to report any suicidal users on Facebook, then CLICK HERE.
Note: Over 8,00,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year and 135,000 (17%) are from India. Since this feature is not yet launched in India, one can always call 24×7 Helpline: 91-22-27546669. (aasra.info) This is a free, confidential helpline answered by professionally trained volunteers.