Twitter launches new feature to help prevent suicide in South Africa
- Twitter is now directing users who are exploring suicidal topics to expert help.
- SA Twitter users who are searching for terms associated with suicide or self-harm, will receive a notification encouraging them to contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.
- Twitter deployed a similar prompt in Nigeria and Kenya.
- For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Twitter has rolled out a new feature in South Africa to prompt those with suicidal thoughts to reach out for help.
Local Twitter users who are searching for terms associated with suicide or self-harm, will receive a large notification encouraging them to contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).
Twitter deployed a similar prompt in Nigeria and Kenya.
“Many people turn to social media to share their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and to be able to give those people a resource to access help in a time of crisis is helpful to SADAG so we can help more people who feel like suicide is the only option,” comments Cassey Chambers, operations director at SADAG. SADAG operates the country’s only suicide crisis helpline.
Emmanuel Lubanzadio, the head of Twitter’s public policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, believes that the social media platform’s community can be an important source of real-time support for anyone struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Twitter also has a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self-harm. “A specialised team reviews these reports and upon receiving them, they will be in direct contact to let the individual know someone who cares about them identified they might be at risk,” Lubanzadio says.
The company launched a special emoji in the shape of an orange ribbon – the international symbol for World Suicide Prevention Day, which is on 10 September – which will appear when people tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, #WSPD, #WSPD2020 and #SuicidePrevention this month.
Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.
Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Why Shoprite added a massive R15 billion in market value in just two days
- Virgin Active gyms are now allowing more than 50 people – despite government rules
- Microsoft just confirmed what its new lightweight Xbox will cost in South Africa
- An Eastern Cape woman used R2,000 to start restoring vintage cars – now she owns 20
- How Putin's favourite mercenaries are using secretive operations to tip the balance in Africa