Facebook to launch new suicide prevention tool

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Facebook often comes in for criticism regarding some of their social responsibility rules – some are seen as over the top, whilst others are not viewed as stringent enough.

On a positive note, Facebook has announced the launch of a new tool that will enable users to anonymously flag posts that they believe may potentially have been posted by someone who is suicidal.

The new suicide prevention tool will be similar in appearance to the current option used to report content but instead it is designed to allow all users to advise Facebook of their concerns should they feel that someone else may be suicidal.

Facebook will then reach out to the person in question offering them a helpline number that they can choose to call. In addition they will also offer easy access to support and advice should the person so wish.

The tool has been trialed in some countries before but Facebook intend to roll out the new tool globally over the next few weeks and the company has promised to have a support team available to monitor the flagged posts working 24/7.

Obviously the hopes are high for this kind of tool but it is unknown whether it will make a difference in the long run or just add further confusion.

Regardless, it is a step that Facebook should be praised for as social media is one of the places that people turn to when they are feeling at their lowest ebb.

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