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Facebook’s Suicide Prevention Feature

Facebook recently announced its new interface tools to help prevent suicides, given the increased numbers of people posting their final words on its site. When potentially harmful message get posted, Facebook provides an immediate crisis prevention to at-risk individuals.

With these new tools, Facebook makes it easier for unstable people to receive the help they need. Once a user reports a troubling post, Facebook immediately reviews its context. If their safety specialists believe the person is at risk, messages directing that person to close friends or helpline workers will appear.

Though an outlet for troubled people, these tools are not perfect. The messages are sent to the user only when he or she next logs in, which may be too late. There are privacy concerns regarding the amount of control Facebook has over one’s personal information. And there is always the worry that users may abuse this feature to bully others through false reporting.  Even though all these concerns are valid, Facebook’s intent is to help save lives and hopefully these tools can do just that.

Written by Tristan Rhee’ 17


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