Facebook Live Will Now Feature Real-Time Suicide Prevention Tools

Facebook will be using AI to look for suicide warning signs.

By Jaime Lutz

In the wake of several high-profile instances in which people broadcast their own suicides using Facebook Live, the social network will now offer real-time suicide prevention tools from within its app, USA Today reported.

One of the new tools includes a new algorithm to identify self-harm warning signs in Facebook posts and comments; another new feature is a streamlined processes for reporting suicide and self-harm, as well as talking through crisis workers through Facebook messenger, according to ABC News.

Facebook has had some version of suicide prevention tools for ten years, but recent events—including a 14-year-old girl named Naika Venant livestreaming her suicide over Facebook Live last month as her “friends” made fun of her in the comments—have resulted in the website garnering increased attention for its suicide and violence prevention tools. 

As Oxygen reported two weeks ago, a major concern psychiatrists have about people broadcasting suicides over Facebook live is the potential for copycat suicides.

“Though we don't yet have direct, high qualities studies about livestreaming, parents should be aware that one highly publicized suicide or violent act can set off a chain of similar behaviors,” said Stephanie Hartselle, MD, with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, to Oxygen at the time.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-8255 (TALK) or text them at 741741.

[Image: Naika Venant, Facebook]

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