Facebook is a social network with over 1.86 billion monthly active users and is considered one of the most popular networks. The CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stated that he felt Facebook is in a special position to help prevent people from harming themselves. Therefore, he has set out to create support for struggling people.
Per the World Health Organization’s 2014 report, there is a suicide attempt every 40 seconds and is surprisingly the second leading cause of death of those between the ages 15 and 29. Suicides are preventable, however, and Facebook has just unveiled their initiative to help reduce the frequency of self-harm.
With the partnership of organizations such as the Crisis Text Line, National Eating Disorder Association, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Facebook has been able to develop tools to help reduce suicides. The network’s tools provide support and resources such as an easy process to reach out to a friend, contact a helpline and an area that suggests how to work through hard times.
Friends are able to report questionable live streams or messages to Facebook, resulting in the support showing up on the reported person’s web browser or mobile app. The team is also working to develop artificial intelligence that will be able to recognize patterns of people who may be suicidal and automatically provide resources to them.