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Facebook Launches Suicide-Prevention Effort

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the d'ya-call-in-sick? dept.

Facebook 159

adeelarshad82 writes "Facebook launched an initiative that gives users who have expressed suicidal thoughts the option to connect directly with a crisis counselor via Facebook chat. Facebook doesn't troll the site in search of those who might be suicidal; with 800 million users who generate billions of posts, Facebook's algorithm could easily misinterpret comments. Instead, the new initiative is dependent on people speaking up when they feel a friend might be in danger."

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Sounds like a good thing (5, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357584)

It's one of those things where the massive size of Facebook can be used for real good. There are already existing hotlines but I doubt they work that well preventing suicides. While they are useful, they aren't shown to people exactly when they really need it. They might know about them, but there's no incentive to try them at those moments. So when Facebook asks it good moment, it could easily save many lifes. Since this still needs the user to agree, it can't be used for harassing people either. If it was automatic it would be stupid, but this way it's only useful.

So overall, really good option.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357606)

Other than do I really want facebook to know about a mental history since they log everything... How long before they sell any of this info off or it gets scraped? I'll pass.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357654)

If you are suicidal, facebook tracking you is the least of your worries.

FFFFFFFFF I just outed meself! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358104)

4Chan follows suit, hires on-staff crisis counselor noted self-help author Anne Hiro

Re:FFFFFFFFF I just outed meself! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358402)

There are already 4chan suicide counselor, except that those encourage you to be an hero and deliver.

Re:FFFFFFFFF I just outed meself! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38359138)

There are already 4chan suicide counselor, except that those encourage you to be an hero and deliver.

Look, all I know is that all of this just makes me want to kill myself.

Wait... FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Re:FFFFFFFFF I just outed meself! (0)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38359242)

All suicide counselors should take this route. Either do or stop wasting everyone's time talking about it!

Re:Sounds like a good thing (5, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357668)

Other than do I really want facebook to know about a mental history since they log everything... How long before they sell any of this info off or it gets scraped? I'll pass.

Just like with Google, most of Facebook's value comes from the data they own. They would be insane to sell that data to others. They may use it to match advertisers with people by using keywords, age and similar metrics, but they will never sell off the data because that is their most valuable asset.

Also, this option really doesn't change anything what Facebook knows about you. It presents you an option to discuss with professionals if you need help.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (4, Insightful)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357738)

Also, this option really doesn't change anything what Facebook knows about you. It presents you an option to discuss with professionals if you need help.

Can't help but feel that people who are having genuine thoughts about suicide would be rather unlikely to care about updating their facebook status to reflect this. Given the way FB has consistently treated its userbase with greed and contempt, it's hard not to see this as a PR stunt wrapped around another data gold mining opportunity.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (3, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357830)

While it doesn't apply to all suicide cases, there's also those where the person has told about it has suicidal feelings just prior to it. There's been many news about such cases too regarding internet. Some person has announced widely that he or she is going to do an suicide on some site or video chat. In most of those cases people's only option has been to call the police and after they arrive, it's already too late. They don't have the experience and knowledge to talk to persons with such ideas. That's why FB jumping in and referring the person to talk to a professional should be a good thing.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358804)

You only think that because you are pretty clueless about suicide, who does it, and what leads to it.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (3, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358050)

...they will never sell off the data because that is their most valuable asset

Because, of course, user data is a limited resource that is static and non-renewable.

Of course they sell it! Like bread, user data goes stale - people make new connections, gain new interests, move to new places, get new jobs - new new new! Sell the data today because tomorrow there will be more, and different data.

Also, this option really doesn't change anything what Facebook knows about you

Except that you're suicidal. I can count the number of insurance companies that aren't interested in buying THAT data on NO HANDS.

How many kids will be snatched up by their local flavor of child protective services when it becomes known that they spoke with a crisis counselor?

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358114)

Except that you're suicidal. I can count the number of insurance companies that aren't interested in buying THAT data on NO HANDS.

Suicide doesn't matter to insurance companies. If you do an suicide, they're not going to pay anything anyway. Did you really think you could get some really high insurance and then do suicide to get your family cash?

Re:Sounds like a good thing (2)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358430)

Actually, you typically just have to wait 2-5 years [too lazy for citation, but I do know someone who's family collected on a declared suicide] from policy start before committing suicide.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (2)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358770)

Suicide doesn't matter to insurance companies. If you do an suicide, they're not going to pay anything anyway.

Seems to be a very good reason for suicide to matter for insurance companies.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358896)

Who said anything about getting a payout? I think people would find their policies cancelled.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358826)

"- people make new connections, gain new interests, move to new places, get new jobs - new new new! "

not as often as you think.

"How many kids will be snatched up by their local flavor of child protective services when it becomes known that they spoke with a crisis counselor?"

Zero.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358194)

Other than do I really want facebook to know about a mental history since they log everything... How long before they sell any of this info off or it gets scraped? I'll pass.

Just like with Google, most of Facebook's value comes from the data they own. They would be insane to sell that data to others. They may use it to match advertisers with people by using keywords, age and similar metrics, but they will never sell off the data because that is their most valuable asset.

Ah, perhaps a little bit of clarification, since the OP was mainly concerned about this "data" getting out beyond FB. You're right, FB doesn't sell raw "data". What they do sell to the highest bidder is information, which has been sorted, categorized, and fine-tuned quite nicely for whomever is willing to pay for it. Stop mincing words in a thinly-veiled attempt to make people think personal information is not being sold all the time. Targeted ads are named as such because advertisers know exactly who they are "shooting" at and why.

And you're also forgetting what happens to companies data when they die off or get bought/sold. There's rarely a guarantee that data is destroyed properly when a Mom and Pop shop closes down. No way in hell would the largest data mine in the world just vaporize if FB ever went down the tubes.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358352)

So if you express suicidal thoughts they'll serve up ads for House of Knives and CNS?

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357840)

Please dont do it, let Facebook kill itself!

Re:Sounds like a good thing (2)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358744)

Now I know why I've started seeing ads for Zoloft and Prozac while chatting with my friends from college.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358888)

Your wall comment is depressing. Please remember to take your Zoloft.
Love,
Facebook

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358894)

Having anything to do with Facebook is a sign of mental instability, its success level indicates the extremely high rate of mental issues. The ways it can and will be abused by governmental, corporate and other people of abusive nature are reasons enough for it not to exist. Plus, don't forget the old adage, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", one that aptly applies here.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (2, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357632)

Is it good? It seems creepy to me.

You don't want to get flagged because you typed "/wrist" in some game thread.

Even worse if they log that shit, and it turns up the next time you apply for a job...

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357710)

You don't want to get flagged because you typed "/wrist" in some game thread.

Note that it isn't automatic. It's only if people report it as such. And to counter trolling, it only presents you an option on what to do. There would be a case if it automatically transferred you to talk to someone, but it doesn't.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358572)

"Even worse if they log that"... roflcopter

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358870)

Is it good? It seems creepy to me.

You don't want to get flagged because you typed "/wrist" in some game thread.

Lets just say Facebook's algorithm is no worse than you ability to RTF summary. The last 2/3 of the summary was devoted to making you look stupid.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357634)

It sounds like a service that's just asking to be trolled.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0, Flamebait)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357770)

It sounds like a service thats just asking to be sold to the medical and life insurance companies.

Oh look, you don't have a FB account? We can't evaluate if you're suicidal or not. Life insurance policy denied. bye bye.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357884)

suicidal tendencies have no bearing in a life insurance plan, as suicide voids the benefit.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (3, Informative)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358508)

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358834)

Yup, I have MetLife and they have that 2yr 'waiting period' in there too.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38359116)

Why wouldn't they? Assuming an insurance company has a waiting period on declared suicides, their purpose in excluding suicidal people would be to eliminate claims after the 2 year period as well a eliminate claims within that 2 year period for accidents and murders that were actually suicides.

Not all accidents are really accidents. A suicidal guy who gets drunk and plows into a wall might be written off as an accident and the benefit paid out. Same with some guy who robs a store and shoots at the cops-he may be a suicide in disguise.

Working to eliminate suicidal people would reduce the number of claims paid out regardless of listed cause of death.

meta-Goodwined! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358408)

You know who else doesn't have a Facebook account?
Ted Kaczynski. lol whut? [facebook.com]

Re:meta-Goodwined! (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358784)

MY MOM!!!

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357846)

Indeed. The summary meant "trawled" of course. Trolling the users would imply Facebook posting fake messages from friends telling them to do it.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358120)

The summary meant "trawled" of course. Trolling the users would imply Facebook posting fake messages from friends telling them to do it.

Except, outside [reference.com] of [merriam-webster.com] the internet [thefreedictionary.com] , that word doesn't always mean what you describe.

In this case, 'troll' is a perfectly legitimate usage of the word.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358006)

It sounds like a service that's just asking to be trolled.

Like other user said, I guess you could also "troll" your friend by calling police lines and telling them your friend is suicidal or "troll" your neighbor by calling firetrucks to his house.

Just because it's internet doesn't mean you can do whatever you want and there are no consequences.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358526)

Just because it's internet doesn't mean you can do whatever you want and there are no consequences.

Yeah. That only happens in Las Vegas.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358486)

Trolling may be the least of their problems.

There have been people that called 911 because McDonald's was out of McRibs.

I can see a lot of Farmville users calling up the service because of some natural disaster that happened on their farm, or some trophy went missing......

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357888)

It's one of those things where the massive size of Facebook can be used for real good. There are already existing hotlines but I doubt they work that well preventing suicides. While they are useful, they aren't shown to people exactly when they really need it. They might know about them, but there's no incentive to try them at those moments. So when Facebook asks it good moment, it could easily save many lifes. Since this still needs the user to agree, it can't be used for harassing people either. If it was automatic it would be stupid, but this way it's only useful.

So overall, really good option.

Good PR, which is something Facebook needs.

"I'm feeling very depressed."

"OK, let's start with why you are feeling depressed.

"Facebook has been spying on me and selling all my personal details, while the founder will be a billionaire, all I get it tonnes of spam and annoyances.

"um..."

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358008)

"um...how about we bump your friend count up to 250?"

"WOW! that'd be great. I feel better already."

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357962)

sounds like a bad thing.

this is akin to medical info about yourself. once this is attached to your so-called 'perm record' (this phrase has new dark meaning, way beyond the fear it put on us in our school days) you'll never get it off (fully) and you can expect it to haunt you the rest of your life.

everything you do is 'recorded' in today's world. you have to think very carefully if you want this or that recorded about yourself.

this sounds like a really bad idea. then again, 100% of things from FB are bad ideas, so this is not surprising to me at all.

if FB wants it, its bad. pretty simple logic and very low latency on the algorithm, too!

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358170)

So you really think 'dead' is better than having Facebook know something about you? Sounds like you have serious paranoia and other mental problems.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

kodiaktau (2351664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358686)

Good question. Are there other issues like HIPAA that need to be considered? What about councilor training? Do they have the correct relationships with local police, fire, hospital?

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0, Troll)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358016)

Why is it a good thing? If people want to commit suicide, then we should let them rather than try and talk them out of it.

If suicide has ever crossed your mind then I wholeheartedly encourage you to go through with it. You're not special, you're not unique, you're not important; and if you require someone lying to you saying that you are to motivate you to keep living then just blow you fucking brains out already. I've known hobos who have nothing to live for but they keep living anyway because they appreciate life. If some prick has such a low appreciation for life that they want to off themselves, then that's probably what's best for them and everyone else.

And yes, I've known people who have committed suicide. Known people who attempted and later regretted it. That doesn't change anything (I know someone is going to give me some cry-baby reply about how their loved one committed suicide before I get modded down to -1 for pissing all over the stupid ass 'life-is precious' values so many cling to). To paraphrase George Carlin: I've got too much shit to do to commit suicide.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (4, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358190)

Known people who attempted and later regretted it.

This single line should tell you exactly why there should be someone trying to prevent it. People aren't always thinking clearly and some problem they have at that exact moment might seem so overwhelming that only way to escape it is suicide, while it really isn't. It's only because that person at that moment thinks so. Most suicides are done out of nothing. I do understand if someone who really has pains and is ill wants to end his life, but that isn't it in majority of the cases. In most cases it's a situation that the person gets over with. That is, if there was someone who prevented him or her from suicide.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358192)

The reason suicide used to be frowned upon was because it was an easy way out of a shit life. Being an abused peasant in, oh, 1200 Europe was not fun. Without a dogmatic "No" to suicide, I'm sure societies would have had a harder time to develop. Now, it's frowned upon because suicide is a waste of invested resources, eminently preventable and generally not justified. Pretty much all suicide cases I'm aware have at their root abuse that results in poor coping mechanisms. Yes, this includes the morons who first off their family, then themselves.

Suicide should be prevented not because life is precious, but because it's a shitty answer to your problems.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38359342)

Suicide should be prevented not because life is precious, but because it's a shitty answer to your problems.

It's the perfect answer to everyone else's problems, though. With almost one trillion people on the face of the planet, sucking up resources, it's not going to hurt to lose some.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358348)

You know what, as I started reading your post, I felt "fuck yeah, I'm not the only idiot who thinks this way". Then, your words reminded me of Carlin. Then you meta-quoted him. Thank you for being awesome.

Also, from Carlin, sort of on the subject (Anorexia, a kind of slow suicide, I guess).

"See, somehow, I can't feel sorry for an anorexic. you know?. Rich cunt, don't want to eat? Fuck her. Fuck her. Don't eat! I give a shit. Like I'm supposed to be concerned about this. "I DON'T WANNA EAT!" Go fuck yourself."

"Why don't you lie down in front of a railroad train right after you don't eat? What kind of a God damned disease is that, anyway? "I DON'T WANNA EAT!" How do we come up with this shit in this country? Where do we get our values from? Bulimia, there's another all-American disease. This has got to be the only country in the world that could ever have come up with bulimia. Got to be the only country where some people are digging in the dumpster for a peach pit, other people eat a nice meal and puke it up intentionally. "

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358066)

I agree but not sure if it will do any good.
I do not think even friends are all that likely to really believe that a friend is going to actually go through with a suicide no matter how emo they are acting.
And form what I have seen 50% of all high schoolers cut their wrists all the time so I could see either there being a lot of false positive or no understanding until it is too late.

But it is not like this is going to make it worse, seems like a worthy undertaking by FB.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358122)

Why, oh why is it a good thing?

We are allowed less freedoms every day, and if you want out, we are even going to be denied that?

Everything is illegal. You can barely do anything without the approval of a government and/or bank. And if you are sick of it, it's not even legal to kill yourself!

Let the motherfuckers die in peace.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358958)

"We are allowed less freedoms every day"
false, also irrelevant to this subject.

"... and if you want out, we are even going to be denied that?"
If the suicide someone is approaching is the type where they are leading to it, then yes, they should get help.

If it's spontaneous suicide, then nothing but dumb luck can save you. And yes, some suicide are literally. I think I'll kill my self now, and then jump. These people need help, not death.

We aren't talking about sen looking at years and years of chronic pain.

"Everything is illegal"
false. stop being stupid.

"You can barely do anything without the approval of a government and/or bank."
again false.

"And if you are sick of it, it's not even legal to kill yourself!"
Also false,. It's illegalt to attempt suicide. Actually succeeding is not illegal. Cause, you know, you're dead.

As it should be. People extinguishing their only life is pretty damn tragic.

"Let the motherfuckers die in peace."
no. However if you really want to do it, it's pretty trivial. It is incredibly selfish.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38359192)

As it should be. People extinguishing their only life is pretty damn tragic.

It is not for you to decide that attempting suicide should be illegal.

It is incredibly selfish.

Funny that, considering that the foundation of "society", at least in the USA, is selfishness vis-a-vis capitalism. Indeed, why should Facebook or the government have an interest in preventing someone from committing suicide? Think about it. Furthermore, why should friends and family care about a preventing a loved one from committing suicide? Why grieve at a loved one's funeral? Because of selfishness, on the part of the friends and family. So, don't use the term "selfish" to describe someone who commits suicide, as if that somehow distinguishes them from everyone else.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358134)

I think bigbrotherbook can fuck off. It shouldn't be their job to interfere with people's personal lives.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358154)

Not sure if song lyrics; Or about to kill themselves [imgur.com]

I coach a college club team and have numerous of them added to my Facebook (in their own little partitioned group). 95% of the time they're being "depressed" it's just some song lyric. I hope there is a quick google lyrics search before deciding to suggest this service.

Re:Sounds like a good thing (1)

gajop (1285284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38359158)

Knowing full well much of /. will be up in pitchforks stating how they're out to get you, I think it's a good idea.
A professor of mine worked on a similar project (competition), creating data mining (machine learning) software that predicts whether someone has suicidal tendencies.

Just remember, most people working with data mining aren't doing it because they are interested in your personal life, but rather wish to help people and companies have better lives and more money.

If they really wanted to prevent suicide... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357650)

...they'd stop changing the interface every week to something people hate even more than the last time they changed the interface the week before.

Re:If they really wanted to prevent suicide... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358040)

...they'd stop changing the interface every week to something people hate even more than the last time they changed the interface the week before.

Oh, I dunno. I get a vigourous respiratory workout with shouting expletives at them while pounding on my keyboard. Good for the cardio-vascular and all.

Re:If they really wanted to prevent suicide... (1)

sapgau (413511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358260)

Came for the obvious fb suicide remark...

mod up +1

Oh good (1)

ExtremeSupreme (2480708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357652)

I can't wait until completely sane people get formed ("Form 1") over this. Fantastic!

I'd have thought ... (1)

burisch_research (1095299) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357664)

Seriously, Facebook should be more worried about Web 2.0 suicide ...

Re:I'd have thought ... (2)

ExtremeSupreme (2480708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357682)

Yeah... has anyone noticed that people have STOPPED POSTING PHOTO ALBUMS on Facebook? What's up with that? I've stopped too. I think Facebook is on the outs if their most popular feature behind wall posts has almost completely disappeared ( at least from my friends list).

Re:I'd have thought ... (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357744)

I constantly get new photos from my friends. Maybe you need new and more interesting friends.

Re:I'd have thought ... (1)

ExtremeSupreme (2480708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357762)

You might get loads of photos in your feed. I do as well. But do you get photo albums in the same number as you used to, say, one year ago?

Re:I'd have thought ... (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357910)

During summer and little after that, yes I got. Now it's middle of December so it's understandable that there really isn't much happening. Now it's mostly from people traveling or living overseas.

Re:I'd have thought ... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358986)

you mean, as more people join, it approaches some peak where pretty much everyone you know who will join, has joined?

shocking.

Should be pretty easy .... (2)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357684)

Just sign up everyone who is a member of the 'Indianapolis Colts Fan Club' group

Re:Should be pretty easy .... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357896)

:*(
ah shaddup

Taking trolling to the next level (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357704)

U suicidal?

Re:Taking trolling to the next level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358184)

You forgot the ", bro".

More like this...good move. (3, Interesting)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357740)

Honestly, I do not see why a social network has not done this in the past. I had this idea that perhaps Doctors could get help to people on social networks via this means - at least schedule appointments. $0 cost and doctors might be able to get some new patients. Forums are around that do this, but its not like FB. Scope is what they have on the table. As long as the chat messages are secure, I think we could see a lot more philanthropic work hitting social networks. How about donations to the Red Cross or any organization via FB?

Re:More like this...good move. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358386)

As long as the chat messages are secure, I think we could see a lot more philanthropic work hitting social networks.

it's facebook. you have to explicitly opt out to keep your suicide hotline chat from being used for marketing.

Slashdot should do its bit too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38357776)

If we did an Ask Slashdot for advice on suicidal feelings, maybe we could get it sponsored by Foxconn.

LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357784)

You can recommend people for suicide counselling on Facebook now. Lulz ho!

Re:LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (2)

phooky (645) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357892)

There is also a number you can call to send the fire department to your neighbor's house. Welcome to the internet! Lulz ho. Please try not to be a sociopathic asshole.

Re:LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357988)

I'm not going to troll innocent users myself, I was merely pointing out how ripe for abuse this system is

Re:LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358292)

Please try not to be a sociopathic asshole.

Why? Who's going to stop him?

Re:LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358646)

There is also a number you can call to send the fire department to your neighbor's house.

And then pay the bill if there wasn't a fire... This thing can be easily abused.

Re:LET THE TROLLING BEGIN (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38359008)

What are you talking about? pay the bill?

Trolling? (1)

krobe (944780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357806)

Is this some use of the word troll I don't know or does TFS (and TFA) mean trawl?

Re:Trolling? (1)

ExtremeSupreme (2480708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357856)

Troll is pronounced the same as trawl. I always thought I was trolling for fish when I was a kid, when all that time I was trawling. I'm pretty sure troll is just a bastardization of the word trawl, since the purpose of it is to catch responses and emotions from other people.

Re:Trolling? (1)

ExtremeSupreme (2480708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357894)

Ugh. I just looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently both trawling and trolling are different forms of fishing. Fishers might be good at fishing but they're shit for coming up with non-homophonic words that are nearly, but not quite, identical, apparently.

Re:Trolling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358326)

Okay, Sheldon.

Re:Trolling? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358724)

...

Well? Did it turn out you were trolling or trawling? What type of fishing DID you do!? Christ man, I'm practically on the edge of my seat here!

Re:Trolling? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38359062)

Those words came into fishing lingo from non fishing sources.

Just sayin'

Re:Trolling? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358480)

Trolling is fishing with a line hanging off a moving boat. You only catch fish that bite. Trawling is fishing by dragging a net. You catch everything. Trolling is correct in this context.

Good approach (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38357940)

If they had gone with an algorithm, all they'd manage to create would be an emo-kid detector. Better to rely on real-world people to provide the red flags in this case. Props to Facebook for implementing something like this.

Prank idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358020)

Wow, this can really be a nice prank.

The product (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358034)

Since the people are the product, is this suicide prevention or quality control on their part?

First thought... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358078)

...It will be hijacked by organizations that will try to sell goods and services to depressed people. About, say, tomorrow.

There is help... (0)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358090)

Come on people, it's not that bad! I know being on Facebook is hard, but there is help. It's called Google+. Switch before it's too late.

Jeeze Louise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358136)

First they get in the way of people ending their accounts, now they get in the way of people ending their lives.

Marketing Potential (1)

Gnaget (1043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358422)

Afterwards, you will forever be marked in the suicidal demographic, and you'll start seeing ads for anti-depressants and Dido mp3s

WOw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38358864)

A large billion dollar a year corporation really cares about your kids enough to want to save them? Or save a potential repeat customer.

Here's my take on life. There are several natural checks and balances in place. Floods, fires, plagues.... and when your brain is evolved enough, suicide.
With 7 billion people on the planet, we don't need to save all of them. If one of the herd is freaking out because someone called it a name, or can't wrap it's head around life and wants out. So be it. There should be euthanasia clinics on every corner not chiropractors. If you do manage to 'save' these individuals they are just going to flake out later, when they can cause more harm to others.

I can see it being a huge PR success for Facebook about how much they 'care'. They should be saying Go Ahead, there are more people in the queue behind you. NEXT!

What? I am confused. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38358990)

The summary suggests that people on facebook have a life. Really? If they do, why are they on facebook?

I can see it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38359078)

grieving families lashing out at facebook and facebook counselors for "saying the wrong thing" or "not trying hard enough"

I don't know why facebook is opening up this vector for lawsuits. good idea on paper, but I doubt it'll have little real world benefit and just end up biting them in the ass somehow.
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