Facebook takes action to present suicides

lifestyle September 12, 2017 10:45

By The Nation

In conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Month, September, Facebook is connecting people with information about supportive groups and suicide-prevention tools via ads in their News Feed.



Facebook is also launching a new section of Safety Centre with additional resources about suicide prevention and online wellbeing. People can access tools to resolve conflict online, help a friend who is expressing suicidal thoughts or get resources if they’re going through a difficult time.

“Because of the relationships people have on Facebook, we are in a unique position to help connect those in distress with friends who can show support,” says Antigone Davis, the social network’s head of global safety. 

“People’s friends are in the best position to know when they’re struggling – and speed is critical – so they can reach out directly through things like comments on a post. In many cases the combination of technology – recognising patterns in people’s comments on posts – and the compassion of people in our community can help prevent harm.”

People can reach out to Facebook when they see something that makes them concerned about a friend’s wellbeing. Facebook has teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports and prioritise the most serious ones like suicide. 

Facebook provides suggested text to start a conversation with their friend in need as well as information on how to handle the situation. The friend who has expressed suicidal thoughts is given information about local help lines, along with other tips and resources. 

Facebook works with partners to collect phrases, hashtags and group names associated with online challenges encouraging self-harm or suicide. The company offers resources to people that search for these terms on Facebook, and also remove content that violates Community Standards, which don’t allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide.

“Facebook has offered tools like these, developed in collaboration with mental health organisations, for more than 10 years,” says Davis. “It’s part of our ongoing effort to help build a safe community on and off Facebook, and we hope we can continue to support those in need.”

Learn more at www.Facebook.com/safety