Facebook Goes a Step Further in Stopping a Leading Cause of Death – Suicide

by March 3, 2017
Facebook Suicide Prevention Tool

Source: tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com

An app that lets you be a part of the lives of loved ones, Facebook has gone multiple updates to go from being ‘just another friend finder’ to something more. Facebook has grabbed the opportunity to make a difference by using artificial intelligence to identify tendencies of suicide to prevent them. Research conducted proved that a large number of people with suicidal tendencies fall between the ages of 15 and 29 and it is this very age group that is most active on Facebook.

Suicide prevention page facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, too made a statement regarding the number of suicides that were streamed live, which could have been prevented had they been reported in time. Through the suicide prevention tool introduced by Facebook, one can reach out to those with suicidal tendencies in order to help them. The tool allows people to report posts that signal suicidal tendencies in a person in a bid to help them. With feedback received worldwide, Facebook has ventured to use the newer technology in order to make a difference.

How will the upgrade in Facebook Suicide Prevention Tool Work to Prevent Suicide?

Suicide prevention tools facebook

Source: fbnewsroom.com

The suicide prevention tool that earlier functioned for Facebook posts will be implemented for Facebook Live as well. This is certainly a good decision, considering the number of people who have used Facebook Live to talk about depression and have shown symptoms that point towards suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Here’s how it will help in curbing or preventing suicide:

FB suicide prevention

Source: 10tv.com

  • Those watching the video, and reporting it, will be able to reach out to the person directly if they wish to be identified to help a friend.

  • When a video is recognised by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a suicidal symptom, the person sharing the live video will be able to see a set of options that can connect them to experts along with suicide prevention notifications.

What is Facebook’s Next Step for Suicide Prevention?

Apart from the upgrades already made, Facebook is also working on some more processes in which to recognise suicidal tendencies using AI.

Facebook suicide prevention how it works

Source: market-success.org

  • By using AI to take previously reported posts for suicide as a pattern for recognition, Facebook is working on trying to find posts with similar patterns which will automatically be flagged for suggesting suicide.

  • Facebook is figuring out ways to identify posts that include suicidal thoughts even without someone reporting it, in order to reach out to people with assistance from experts.

With these steps taken by Facebook, the number of suicide cases is expected to go down while setting an example for other influencing organisations to help those in need of assistance.