What if the next time someone started a Facebook Live to commit suicide or a crime, a crisis manager or suicide prevention expert joined the broadcast to intervene?
What if that live stream wasn’t deleted by Facebook? Instead, it became a private, 1:1 session with a specialist trained to avert disaster or suicide.
In April, Facebook announced it would hire 3,000 people to monitor and assess live broadcasts. The purpose of this is so Facebook can quickly shut down suicidal, violent and other potentially illegal broadcasts such as this tragic incident in Thailand.
While the goal of identifying potentially harmful live broadcasts is paramount, I would hope Facebook is considering ways to intercept and prevent people from doing harm to themselves or others once the broadcast starts.
In my opinion, it’s not just about deleting a violent live stream, it’s also about crisis intervention. Facebook and live streaming just might need a 911, emergency hotline.
Social media is a cry for attention as much as it is a vehicle for sharing information and having fun. If Facebook and other live platforms (Periscope, Busker, Instagram, YouNow) could engage mental health professionals during potentially violent live stream broadcasts, then it could save lives.
Imagine if those 3000 people Facebook is hiring were a mix of therapists, MSWs and crisis management professionals?
Then there’s a chance to change the outcome when a desperate or suicidal person clicks “Go Live.”