Facebook is rolling out an AI suicide prevention tool

Image via Facebook
Words by Tara Smith

For the greater good.

Facebook has announced it’s rolling out an AI suicide prevention tool, which aims to proactively identify heightened suicide risk in users.

The technology builds on a prevention tool released earlier this year, where users could anonymously report friends who they think might be at risk.

Now, the new tool will actively monitor user’s posts, videos and livestreams, looking for signals from friends like ‘Are you OK?’ and ‘Can I Help?’. Facebook’s (human) community operations team will then review the content, and contact the user and their friends for support.

The AI component is currently only available in the US, with plans to roll out globally. It’s a step beyond what is currently available on Facebook and Instagram, and has already reached out to over 100 people in the US.

If the AI (or user) pinpoints a user in immediate danger of suicide, Facebook will flag local first responders – police, fire departments or emergency workers.

With suicide still the leading cause of death for young people,  it’s important to know help is always available.


If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24-hour support.

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