Mummy Buzz


Suicide Prevention On Facebook

A Social Media Intervention

Following a growing number of suicide notes posted on the Facebook website, the social media giant has launched a new feature allowing friends to flag a suicidal or particularly distraught comment. A crisis counsellor from the National Suicide Prevention Organization will then directly initiate an intervention with the user via an instant messenger app.

"One of the big goals here is to get the person in distress into the right help as soon as possible," said Facebook's public policy manager, Fred Wolens. “The only people who will have a really good idea of what's going on is your friends so we're encouraging them to speak up and giving them an easy and quick way to get help."

After posting a note on Facebook last month, a Pittsburgh man went on to kill his wife, in-laws and himself.

If Facebook is the place where young people increasingly air their deepest darkest fears -- not to mention their ugliest bullying -- then it stands to reason friends should heed the S.O.S. and help each other in times of trouble.

But is it up to a social media company to answer its users' cries for help? Just how far should corporate liability extend?