Remember when bullying was just calling names and pointing fingers? Add social media into that equation, and we’ve seen that bullying can easily escalate into something so much more than a constant tease, which has ended in victims taking extreme measures — like their own lives. Facebook is stepping up with a feature that wants to help in a major way.
Facebook is currently working on a few features where friends will be able to send a special message to a possibly suicidal or depressed friend. If you’re not connected on Facebook, or if the suspected friend deletes their account, you can message a mutual friend and notify a mental health expert. The experts won’t be contacting your friend. Instead, you will tell them your situation, and they can give you advice on how to handle it. There will also be a more extreme option where there will be a button to report a suspected friend in need. Facebook staff will review your report and notify the Suicide Prevention Lifeline if necessary. The peeps from the suicide prevention team will then contact your friend directly.
This is definitely an incredible new way to use social media for good and combat the ways in which it has contributed to a specific problem like bullying. Now we’re wondering how Instagram and Twitter can step up their game…
Which social media platform do you think should get a suicidal prevention feature next? What features do you think Facebook should add?
(h/t ABC 7 News)