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Instagram introduces suicide-prevention tools

Instagram introduces suicide-prevention tools

Social media companies are struggling to handle these cases and are looking at ways to prevent such horror from playing out on their platform.

On October 11, a man in Turkey committed suicide by shooting himself while streaming it live on Facebook through his smartphone.

Even after the phone fell down, disturbing noises could be heard.

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What's worse, Facebook failed to censor or take down this video for almost two days while it was continuously being shared and went viral.

In April, an 18-year-old student from US posted a video on Instagram, before taking his life, saying 'Hey, so, I'm killing myself. Goodbye'.

This 12-second clip was seen by over 15,000 people before it was taken down two days later.


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Social media companies are struggling to handle these cases and are looking at ways to prevent such horror from playing out on their platform.

Facebook introduced suicide prevention tools earlier this year, and formed a team to look into worrisome posts of users.

Now, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has also introduced similar tools to prevent users from self-harm.


HOW IT WORKS

 

  1. If any user sees a post on the photo-sharing app that instigates self-harm or possibility of an attempt to suicide, they can contact the local emergency service to report the content.
  2. Users can also anonymously flag a post they feel is negative, subsequently the person who needs help will be sent a support message that reads: "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help."
  3. For those who may be going through these phases of depression or cyber bullying and are in need of support Instagram provides three main support resources: A suggestion to message or call a friend, access general tips and support or contact a help line by accessing your location.  
  4. If any user searches for a negative hashtag, Instagram immediately offers support options before the user can view the content.

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This move comes after Instagram took steps to limit the abusive content on its app. In September, the photo and video sharing app made it possible for anyone to filter their comments using customizable block lists. Users could bar anyone from posting explicit words or any form of bullying content in their comments sections.