19:38 GMT +320 September 2017
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    Mumbai Student Livestreams Suicide on Facebook

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    A 24-year-old male nursing student, while livestreaming a self-made tutorial explaining how to commit suicide on his Facebook page, jumped to his death from an upper floor of the Taj Lands Hotel in Bandra, India.

    The medical student appeared to be intoxicated in his Facebook livestream video post, and articulated methods of self-murder before jumping out a window at the hotel. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Times of India.

    Suicide, one of the leading causes of death for humans, was not, until recently, a predominantly public act. Now, with the popularity of social media platforms, including some 1.8 billion users on Facebook alone, a person wishing to be noticed in the act of killing him- or herself can do so live, in real time, in view of as many people as their local ISP's server network can support.

    Suicide rates, as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics, have jumped alarmingly over the past 30 years, according to USA Today, and are expected to continue to rise. The World Health Organization predicts some 1.53 million people will kill themselves in the year 2030 alone.

    In the wake of many high-profile livestreamed suicides over the past several years, Facebook and other social media networks have begun to aggressively implement tools for users to identify and talk down potential suicides, and provide the resources for them to get help, if they want it.

    Facebook in particular is developing what it claims is a form of artificial intelligence that can detect possible suicides based on indicators gleaned from user posts.

    A Facebook spokesperson, quoted by the BBC, stated that the move to implement proprietary algorithms to detect suicidal behavior is "not just helpful but critical."

    Being tested currently only in the US, the Facebook AI will, if successful in helping those in need, be quickly rolled out to other regions.

    Related:

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    Actor Commits Suicide Live on Facebook Following Sexual Assault Arrest
    US Army Mulls Social Media as Potential Tool to Prevent Suicide
    Tags:
    Live Streams, preventive action, AI, artificial intelligence, social media, suicide, suicide, National Center for Health Statistics, Facebook, World Health Organization (WHO), India
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