INTERNATIONAL: What Are Social Media Companies Doing About Suicidal Posts?

February 08, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Guardian

Social media companies have taken a variety of steps to help address suicide risk among users of their platforms. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all have mechanisms for identifying and assisting users who may be at risk. For example, Twitter has a team that reviews self-harm reports and contacts reported users, providing them with crisis resources and encouraging them to seek help. Facebook uses artificial intelligence to identify signs of suicide risk in posts, comments, and videos. Facebook staff review content that suggests immediate or serious risk, and contact first responders in exceptional cases. Instagram also has employees who review and respond to reports of suicide risk, and connects users to a support page if they search for hashtags related to self-harm. Social media users should reach out to fellow users they are concerned about, recommended Daniel J. Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. Reidenberg advised users to then report the concern so that the social media company can offer resources and support.

Spark Extra! Find resources related to social media and suicide prevention.