A new service launching today is designed to make it easier for people who express suicidal thoughts on Facebook to get help.
Users will be able to make instant connections with crisis counselors through Facebook chat.
"One of the big goals here is to get the person in distress into the right help as soon as possible," Fred Wolens, public policy manager at Facebook, told The Associated Press.
How the service works is if a friend spots a suicidal thought on someone's page, he can report it to Facebook by clicking a link next to the comment. Facebook then sends an email to the person who posted the suicidal comment encouraging them to call the hotline or click on a link to begin a confidential chat.
Facebook on its own doesn't troll the site for suicidal expressions, Wolens said. Logistically it would be far too difficult with so many users and so many comments that could be misinterpreted by a computer algorithm.
The AP story points to recent high-profile incidents of people posting suicidal thoughts on Facebook.
Last month, authorities in California said a man posted a suicide note on Facebook before he killed his wife and in-laws then himself.
In July, police in Pennsylvania said they believed they were able to help prevent a man's suicide after the man's friend in California alerted police about a distraught Facebook posting. Police met with the man, who was committed to a hospital.
What do you think -- can Facebook help?
It's a lesson that never gets learned: The best way to generate more exposure for speech is to try to suppress it. People who would never have given an obscure reality show a second look will tune in to "All-American Muslim," now that the Florida Family Association has pressured the Lowe's chain to withdraw its advertising.
The group's executive director, interviewed by CNN's John King, did his cause no credit by first pronouncing the word "imam" as "eye-mom." Or by allowing himself to be interviewed in close conjunction with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who did a credible of job of arguing his simple point: Muslims are just regular people. What strange times we live in, that making such a case seems necessary.
What happens when you can capture one trillion frames per second? You make the speed of light look really, really slow. Since I don't have a PhD in physics, I'll let the researchers from MIT Media Lab's Camera Culture group explain how they did it:
This imaging system is a spinoff from another Camera Culture project -- developing a camera that can see around corners. Another MIT researcher is developing a radar technology that allows us to see through concrete walls.
Pretty soon, there will be little we can't see -- with the proper technology, of course.
But while being able to see an advancing light wave is really something, I'm still pretty impressed with a mere 1,000 frames per second:(1 Comments)