Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FB and Suicide Prevention- Just In Time For My Re-Write!

Being launched (I believe next Tuesday) in addition to a "report as spam" and "report as harassment" option on Facebook, users will soon be able to report a status or a comment as a suicidal threat.

WHAT? Is posting suicide notes and threats really that much of a trend on social networking cites?

Why, yes. Yes it is.

How sad that these features are needed, and how cool that they exist!

Once a post is reported as containing "suicidal language," the person who wrote the post is automatically sent an email encouragin him or her to call a suicide hotline number. They are also given a link to begin a Facebook chat with a licensed counselor. This feature will run 24 hours a day.


Lidia Bernik, associate project director of Lifeline says that "...people experience reductions in suicidal thinking when there is quick intervention. We’ve heard from many people who say they want to talk to someone but don’t want to call. Instant message is perfect for that.”

What a good idea, I think a lot of kids (and adults too) would feel much more comfortable talking to someone with the anonymity of the internet world.

Of course, there are some flaws. One big one being, what if the person doesn't check their email? And I wonder if type on a screen would be able to provide the same "your not alone" assurance as a real human voice. But something is better than nothing.

I'm impressed with Facebook for looking out for its community  and using some of its power for good.

What a crazy time for technology.

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