Facebook Rolls Out New Suicide-Prevention Tools

It was not too long ago that Facebook was taking heat for manipulating its usersEU emotions by altering the number of positive and negative comments in their news feeds as part of a 2012 study. Now, the social media giant is hoping it can have a more positive effect on users by rolling out a new set of tools designed to identify and respond to posts that indicate a user is considering suicide.

Users can now report posts to Facebook that they believe might indicate someone is suicidal, just as they would report offensive or distressing content.

New Tools To Combat Suicide

Although users have always had the ability to report content that they thought might indicate someone was suicidal, the new tools will be built directly into the posting interface. The tools are designed to walk people through their options and make it easier for them to seek help.

EUKeeping you safe is our most important responsibility on Facebook,EU said Rob Boyle, Facebook Product Manager and Nicole Staubli, Facebook Community Operations Safety Specialist, in a blog post. The company created the new tools in collaboration with several mental health organizations, including Forefront, Now Matters Now, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Save.org.

EUOne of the first things these organizations discussed with us was how much connecting with people who care can help those in distress,EU according to Boyle and Staubli. EUIf someone on Facebook sees a direct threat of suicide, we ask that they contact their local emergency services immediately.EU

Users are also being asked to report troubling content directly to Facebook. The company will have teams throughout the world available around the clock to review any reported content and respond to individuals who may be at risk of suicide or other self-injury with links to local resources.

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