Facebook aims to prevent suicide with AI tools

The technology will analyse whether a post is about suicide or self harm

Facebook has boosted the suicide prevention tools it provides its users if they are contemplating suicide or if friends or family are concerned about someone they're connected with.

Although the company already has some features in place to help people report friends in need, it has made them more obvious, helping people get the help they need when they are most vulnerable.

At the moment, anyone who posts a notice that could be construed as suicidal can be reported the social network and they are analysed by real people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be analysed and prioritised according to urgency, which gives Facebook the opportunity to take action if it feels the member needs it.

Facebook has updated this feature, using AI to identify the context of posts and if the computer thinks it's potentially suicide or self injury related, it will make the option to report the post to Facebook more prominent. It's also testing technology to fast track posts that could include such content, so they can be reviewed quicker by human beings.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The company has integrated prevention tools into Facebook Live too, so anyone can report a video as potentially suicidal while reaching out to the person recording. At the same time, the person using Facebook Live will see new tools that allow them to contact a friend, a helpline or view tips on screen.

"Suicide prevention is one way we're working to build a safer community on Facebook," Facebook said. "With the help of our partners and people's friends and family members on Facebook, we're hopeful we can support more people over time."

The tools are currently only available in the US, however, where Facebook is working with a number of partners to bring the number of people considering suicide down, including Crisis Text Line, the National Eating Disorder Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Main image credit: Facebook

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now


Policy & legislation

Irish Data Protection Commission has questions for Facebook

29 Jan 2019
digital currency

China prepares to launch the first domestic cryptocurrency

6 Nov 2019
digital currency

MasterCard and Visa abandon support of Facebook's Libra

14 Oct 2019
software as a service (SaaS)

Facebook Workplace boasts three million users in three years

9 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019

Raspberry Pi 4 owners complain of broken Wi-Fi when using HDMI

29 Nov 2019
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019