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Facebook lets users report friends who post suicidal content

Sign of the times

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Facebook has introduced a service that allows users to report friends who have posted suicidal content on their account pages.

The Report Suicidal Content form, asks for the URL where the comments were made, the user's full name and other information. From there, “A Facebook administrator will review your report and take any available action from our end,” although the social network doesn't say exactly what that means.

Given the explosive growth of Facebook, it was probably inevitable that the site rolled out a service like this one. On Sunday, authorities in Washington state recovered the body of a 12-year-old girl who hadn't been seen since mentioning on Facebook that she planned to kill herself.

In December, Brighton, UK-based Simone Back told 1,048 Facebook friends that she had taken an overdose, according to The Guardian. A a message she posted on Facebook Christmas night read: "Took all my pills, be dead soon, bye bye everyone."

Some of Back's Facebook friends responded with taunts and flame wars among themselves, but no one called the police until the following day, the Guardian said.

Facebook has also joined forces with the Samaritans group to raise awareness. ®

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