Facebook

Facebook offers to help you report a suicidal friend

What should you do if a friend posts something on Facebook that suggests they might be feeling suicidal? Hitting the ‘like’ button would be inappropriate, while actually picking up the phone (assuming you have their number) would be waaaay too personal. So how about pressing a new ‘suicide’ button instead?

A new tool allows people to report a post that they believe indicates possible suicidal thoughts. The ‘suicidal’ user then gets a message offering the support of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, giving the person a chance to speak to someone about their problems.

It’s a very worthy initiative from Facebook and is bound to garner them good press, especially in light of recent stories about people committing suicide after posting unusual social media updates. But seriously: has it come to this? Now you can bully your friends online and then report them for feeling suicidal. Plus, there’s absolutely no possibility that this feature could be misused in any way. Oh well, I’m off to kill myself now!

About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.

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