Social media platform screens for suicide risk


A Facebook algorithm is alerting developers to posts that lead them to believe someone may cause themselves harm. Facebook then contacts local law enforcement to warn officials of the potential threat.

“This is one thing that can, and in my opinion, will have the potential to save lives,” said Tom O’Clair.

O’Clair’s son died by suicide in 2001 when he was 12-years-old.

Detective Scott Earing said they receive calls from concerned family and friends daily to check on the welfare of residents. Rensselaer Police haven’t received a call from Facebook just yet, but welcome this new tool into their arsenal of ways to protect the public.

“If it saves one, life it’s beneficial,” Earing said.

For those who are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help.

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