Why More And More Depressed People Are Using Facebook Live To Broadcast Their Suicides

On its part, Facebook is utilising Artificial Intelligence and pattern recognition based on previously reported posts to identify posts by people who may be suicidal.

Cover image via Techcrunch

Today Facebook Live is being used by people the world over looking to broadcast themselves and their activities to millions

There are many benefits from using Facebook Live.

Other than the fact that it allows literally everyone with a smartphone and high-speed Internet connection to "go live" whenever and wherever they want, the feature has made "special permissions" obsolete.

Which while is a good thing for many, Facebook is finding out it isn't the same for them.

Recently, there have been an increasing number of people who have used the Facebook Live feature to broadcast their suicides

Just yesterday, 17 march 2017, an Indonesian man committed suicide by hanging himself in his house in South Jakarta. The man, who was identified as Pahinggar Indrawan, used Facebook Live to broadcast his suicide to millions.

According to The Star Online, the Facebook Live broadcast of his suicide was 1 hour and 45-minute long. It was easily accessed by netizens and as a result had gone viral.

While Facebook acted quickly after being notified, it still took them close to 12 hours before they managed to take down the original down. However, by that time, several people had copied the video and reuploaded them on the social platform.

Before Facebook took down the original video, it had over 100,000 views.

According to a report in Majalah Tempo, the man also mentioned the reason for his suicide. After introducing himself as Indra, he said that his wife of 17 years has left him.

On 25 January this year, as aspiring Hollywood actor named Frederick Jay Bowdy shot himself on head while broadcasting the whole event on Facebook Live, leaving his friends horrified

According to reports, Frederick had revealed his intentions on his Facebook profile, which prompted his family in Texas to contact the LAPD.

However, the LAPD failed to locate Frederick in time to prevent his death.

He shot himself in the head, streaming the act in real time on Facebook Live.

Image via eurweb

Prior to that, in the same month, a 14-year-old girl, desperate for her mother's love, hanged herself and broadcast it on Facebook Live

Before she committed suicide on Facebook Live, Naika Venant spoke at length about her troubles on the live video, which was viewed in real time by thousands.

According to reports, the girl, who was under foster care, just wanted to go home.

Naika had a troubled relationship with her mother, who according to the Florida Department of Children & Families' records, rejected her daughter again and again.

The mother and daughter pictured together in happier times.

Image via The Daily Mail

And just before the new year, on 30 December 2016, a teenage girl hanged herself to death while broadcasting it live on social media

Her name was Katelyn Nicole Davis and she was 12 years old.

Katelyn hanged herself from a tree in her front yard while live streaming the event to, which went viral on Facebook, with cops failing to stop it from being shared.

Katelyn claimed to have been physically, mentally and verbally abused — including being hit with a leather belt by her stepfather.

Image via The Daily Star

While these people committed suicide on Facebook Live, others who tried by informing their friends on Facebook were saved

There are three cases in which suicidal people have been rescued after posting live streams to social media websites.

One of them includes a Minnesota teenager who was reportedly saved in August last year when she tried to kill herself by drinking a poisonous substance.

And a 28-year-old man in Thailand in January this year, who tried to hang himself while broadcasting on Facebook Live. He was saved when a friend who was watching the feed reacted quickly by contacting people nearby.

So why are people using Facebook Live to commit suicide?

According to Daniel Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, "It is a call for help."

"Prior to Facebook Live and Periscope, you had people sending out messages and tweets about this. This is just another way they're speaking out, but they're hoping that someone is actually going to do something about the pain."

Daniel said that about 91% of people who kill themselves do so alone and the overwhelming majority of people posting troubling messages or live streams to social media sites about suicides are looking for help.

On its part, Facebook is stepping up efforts to prevent suicides, after all having people broadcast their suicides from Facebook Live isn't something the company wants, nor it is good for the brand

Facebook has announced that it will integrate real-time suicide prevention tools into Facebook Live. It will also offer live chat support from crisis support organisations through Facebook Messenger and make it easier to report suicide or self-injury.

The most novel of the new tools: Facebook is testing artificial intelligence (AI) to identify warning signs of self-harm and suicide in Facebook posts and comments.

The goal, says Facebook, to connect people in distress with people who can help.

Image via Wired

Not just suicide, Facebook Live, at least in one reported instance, has been used to broadcast a gangrape in a Facebook group

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