Posted by Jenny Krane
In February of 2015, Facebook announced a new feature: reporting self-threatening or suicidal posts as a way to attempt to prevent suicide. To create this feature, Facebook partnered with suicide-preventative organizations like Forefront and Save.org.
With an increase in cyber-bullying and self-injury in teenagers in the past 10 years, this feature is an important development in social media. Suicidal posts on social media are often a cry for help, and this feature provides a way to help a friend or acquaintance in need.
In reporting a suicidal post, the reporter has the option to message the person whose post they are reporting, message another friend to form a support group, talk to a trained helper, call suicide hotline, or ask Facebook determine whether the post is life-threatening and needs to be addressed.
The next time the person whose post is being reported logs on to Facebook, they will be notified that a friend reported their post and will be given links to advice and videos compiled by experts to help someone in crisis.
This new Facebook feature is an easier way to reach out and help a friend in crisis. Often, it can be difficult to know what to do or what to say to help someone. This feature is an important development in social media and how people use it.