According to the World Health Organization, worldwide, a suicide attempt is being made every 40 seconds. And among one of Facebook's key demographics, those aged 15-29 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
The social media network’s blogpost on Wednesday said it plans to use artificial intelligence to identify users with suicidal tendencies.
It also plans to update its existing suicide prevention tools to give its users watching a live video to reach out to the person directly and report the video to Facebook – which in turn, can contact emergency workers if it is believed someone is in imminent danger.
The person filming will even be shown a set of resources which will pop up on their phone screen, so they can contact a friend or a helpline.
The move comes after criticism the company is not doing enough to prevent users live-streaming suicide attempts.
The case of the 14-year-old foster child in Florida, USA who broadcasted her suicide reportedly on Facebook Live on January 22, 2017.
Naika Venant had fashioned a noose out of a scarf and hanged herself from the bathroom door of her Miami area home just after 3:00 AM, the state’s Department of Children and Families disclosed.
The teen’s tragic suicide occurred after a 12-year-old child hanged herself in a 42-minute live video on December 30, 2016 – after she claimed she had been sexually abused by a family member.
Katelyn Nicole Davis, of Cedartown in Georgia, USA, had used a livestreaming app which allowed her to broadcast her chilling death using her mobile phone.
Image credit: http://www.viral4real.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/12-year-old-live-streams-suicide_thumb.jpg
Following her death, the video of her suicide went viral after it was copied from the feed on Live.me, a social media app similar to Facebook Live, and duplicated.
This is not the first time tech companies have been criticized for allowing inappropriate footage to be broadcast via their platforms.
In April last year a teenager was accused of livestreaming her friend’s rape using Twitter’s streaming app, Periscope.
Marina Lonina, 18, from Ohio, USA pleaded not guilty to rape and kidnap but prosecutor Ron O’Brien said she had got “caught up in the likes” and was “giggling and laughing” in the footage.
What is deeply worrying is that presently, there are no legal means to stop these videos from being shared on websites.
On Monday, Leicester City walloped Liverpool 3-1 in an EPL game that made me hang my head in shame.
The Reds have now lost five of their past seven matches in all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp, you have your work cut out for you!