Facebook Wants to Use Its Interface to Stop Suicide


Max Kutner, NEWSWEEK

(Newsweek)—In 2013, hours before 16-year-old Adrian Alvaresz killed himself during lunchtime in the courtyard of his high school in Texas, he posted a warning on Facebook: “I don’t know if this is going to affect people or if ya’ll are even going to care but I just want to say I’m taking my life away.” He asked his friends to care for his mother, as well as his ex-girlfriend and young son. Along with the message, he posted a photo of himself holding a gun to his cheek.

Alvaresz’s post was a suicide note for the social media age. Tragically, going online with final messages is not uncommon, and now Facebook wants to make it easier for people who might be at risk to get help.

The social network announced on February 25 that it will be adding tools to its interface so users can more easily report Facebook friends whose posts suggest they might be considering suicide.



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