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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Facebook aims to help prevent suicide Pepole

The is making it easier for people who express suicidal thoughts on the social networking site to help.
A program launching enables users to instantly connect with a crisis counselor through 's "chat" messaging system.
The service is the latest tool from aimed at improving safety on its site, which has more than 800 million users. Earlier this year,
announced changes to how users report bullying, offensive content and fake profiles.

Nearly 100 Americans die by suicide every day, and 36,035 a year, according to U.S Surgeon General Regina Benjamin's office.
The and Yahoo have long provided the phone number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as the first result when someone searches for "suicide" using their sites. Through email, also directed users to the hotline or encouraged friends to call law enforcement if they perceived someone was about to do harm.
The new service goes a step further by enabling an instant chat session that experts say can make all the difference with someone seeking help.
Some crisis lines such as Lifeline have been criticized for alerting police without the caller or user knowing.
How the service works is if a friend spots a suicidal thought on someone's page, he can report it to by clicking a link next to the comment. then sends an email to the person who posted the suicidal comment encouraging them to call the hotline or click on a link to begin a confidential chat.
on its own doesn't troll the site for suicidal expressions, Wolens said. Logistically it would be far too difficult with so many users and so many comments that could be misinterpreted by a computer algorithm.
There have been high-profile incidents of suicidal expressions on .
Last month, authorities in California said a man posted a suicide note on before he killed his wife and in-laws then himself.
In July, police in Pennsylvania said they believed they were able to help prevent a man's suicide after the man's friend in California alerted police about a distraught posting. Police met with the man, who was committed to a hospital.
The Lifeline currently responds to dozens of users on each day. Crisis center workers will be available 24 hours a day to respond to users selecting the chat option.


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