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Facebook Live Suicides


A lot of people have either used Facebook live or at least watched one Facebook live stream in the past year. Seamless live-streaming has been a popular addition to the already widely used social media platform. A major problem that has started to occur though with this feature is that people are committing suicide over Facebook live for people to watch. The platform that is bringing more people together every day is also providing the tools for people to broadcast their final moment of pain for all to see.

Facebook is looking to curve this tragic trend by upgrading the reach of its prevention technology so that people worried about the direction of a live stream can get in contact with the person live streaming to talk to them, or report them to Facebook itself so that resources pop up on screen as well as a live chat support if needed.

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said “With billions of posts shared each day, we rely on community reporting to quickly and accurately identify posts expressing thoughts of suicide.”

What is in the testing stage is artificial intelligence to scan for content that indicate potentially suicidal tendencies which then alerts the user to a operations team for review and possible intervention.

My questions are:

Do you think that this artificial intelligence is something worth investing in?

What are the potential downsides of this kind of surveillance technology?

Are these potential downsides worth the upsides of this sort of technology?

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