After a string of bad publicity over it’s “LIVE” feature, Facebook’s popular streaming function helped law enforcement officers respond to a suicide attempt, and successfully thwart it.
The attempt was made by a teenage girl in Georgia on Tuesday night. When she took to Facebook LIVE to announce her intentions, law enforcement officials received multiple calls, including one from Facebook itself. They were able to reach the distressed teen within 30 minutes.
“It’s a good thing that the people watching this called it in,” Sheriff David Davis of Bibb County said. “Those people did the right thing.”
Although the young teen had taken pills and placed her head in a plastic bag before she was reached, she still had a pulse when medics began treatment. They took her to Medical Center Navicent Health and was reported to be in stable condition Wednesday, according to Sgt. Linda Howard.
Davis believes that social media is a way to receive attention.“Even in this tragic situation, this young lady was looking for attention,” Davis said. “Thankfully, the right people were watching. It could have been more tragic.”
The bad publicity Facebook LIVE has received stems from several incidents in which users saw people committing murders, rapes, and gruesome beatings. Some of those incidents include a sexual assault in Chicago, the senseless slaying of an elderly man in Cleveland, and the particularly troubling murder of a baby girl perpetrated by a man in Thailand who subsequently committed suicide.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to better monitor and take down these types of heinous videos from it’s site. In support of that agenda, the social media giant has announced it will employ 3,000 new people to help monitor activity. The new hires are an attempt at “working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”
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