For numerous times, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, explained the purpose of his website as a social tool that connects people from all corners of the world. However, there are side effects of this online phenomenon. For instance, many people claimed that this social media platform was responsible for spreading fake news that altered the outcome of the recent American presidential campaign. Moreover, as of recently, the company is facing yet another grave social trend. People started taking their own lives during their live videos. The company worked on new tools that are going to try preventing such live suicide attempts in the future.
On Wednesday, the tech giant announced a new upgrade for its Facebook Messenger and Facebook Live. This time, the implementation regards a series of tools that can prevent live suicide attempts in real time. The announcement also mentioned collaboration with the Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention. These two organizations are going to be available on Messenger for contact for anyone that needs crisis support. This way, the company hopes to enable a more efficient aiding system for those who want to report a self-injury attempt.
Facebook stated that the mission of these new improvements is to create a direct link between people who need help and those who can offer help. The wave of live suicide attempts started as recently as January 2017. This was when a 14-year-old girl hung herself in Florida in the house of her foster family. There have been many public acts of suicide before Facebook introduced its Live video service. However, live streaming is a new technology that helped these terrible events appear in the newsfeed of far too many people.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote his opinion that these public acts might have been prevented if someone figured out the real intentions of the streamers. The next step would have been reporting the videos. Thus, as of Wednesday, friends have the option to report a video to Facebook if they appear suspicious. Afterward, the streamer is going to receive a series of tools on his or her display. If they open them, they will be able to contact a helpline or a friend, and read tips. The company explained that it is not going to interrupt the streaming sessions as this would mean cutting all means to offer support.
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