Blog Post

Facebook Suicide Averted

FacebookAnother teen attempted to kill herself on Facebook on Tuesday night but was saved just in time after viewers – and Facebook – alerted authorities. is reporting on the incident which occurred in Macon, Georgia when a teenage girl broadcasted plans to kill herself on Facebook live. Thankfully, law enforcement got several calls from viewers, and Facebook called 911, which brought police to the girl’s home within 30 minutes.

“It’s a good thing that the people watching this called it in,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told The Telegraph. “Those people did the right thing.”

This latest incident is just one in a string of suicides and killings that were broadcast live on the social media site.

Last week, a Thai man live-streamed the hanging of his baby daughter and his own suicide.

In April, a deranged killer named Steve Stephens live-streamed the murder of an innocent man who was walking down a street in Cleveland.

Earlier this year, 14 year-old Nakia Venant live-streamed a two-hour long goodbye after showing a scarf she used to make a homemade noose. She later hung herself in the bathroom.

In the same month, 12 year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis posted a 42-minute video saying she was abused by a relative and didn’t deserve to live. She later hung herself from a tree in the front yard.

The trend to livestream death has caused a firestorm of criticism of Facebook for its slow response in reacting to the videos. In the case of the Thai killings, it took 24 hours to take down the video.

This criticism prompted Facebook to hire 3,000 additional workers to help monitor the site’s content. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is “working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner -- whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."

The Georgia case is an example of how tragedy can be averted when everyone works together.

“All social media is a conduit for attention,” Davis said. “Even in this tragic situation, this young lady was looking for attention, and thankfully, the right people were watching. It could have been more tragic.”

By the time police arrived, however, the teen had taken pills and placed a plastic bag over her head but still had a pulse. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she is now reportedly in stable condition.

The nation needs to take action to stop the two trends that are intersecting with deadly consequences – the addiction to social media among youth at the same time that the suicide rates in the same age group are mounting.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24 with 70 percent of teens reporting daily use of multiple social media platforms.

When considering these statistics, tragedies such as these are not all that surprising.

On the other hand, studies have found that youth who have good strong family relationships, with good communication, feel valued, and attend religious services or activities once a week are half-less likely to consider suicide than teens who don’t have this kind of support.

Youth groups and youth oriented programs, such as the Young Women of Grace program, can provide powerful affirmation and encouragement to youth who are growing up in the culture of death. These are the kinds of messages that are desperately needed to combat the ever-darkening world which they will one day inherit.

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