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Friday, December 16, 2011

Facebook suicide intervention tool response mixed

By Dan O’Brien
Thursday, December 15, 2011

A new Facebook feature that lets users report “suicidal content” to website administrators is raising big brother concerns, but experts and educators say it could be a powerful tool to combat suicides.

“Anything like that would help,” said Bridgewater/Raynham Superintendent Jacqueline Forbes, whose district is reeling over the suicides last week of two recent graduates of Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School. “It’s a good, positive outreach to people in need.”

The feature launched this week allows Facebook users to report content characterized as a cry for help. Once Facebook’s “safety team” is alerted, it immediately sends a private message to the user in distress, providing a link to a live chat with a mental health professional and phone numbers for suicide prevention hotlines.

Facebook suicide intervention tool response mixed

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