Twitter Restores Suicide Prevention Hotlines After Pressure from Users
- Dec 26, 2022
Twitter Inc has restored an essential safety feature that promotes suicide prevention hotlines and other resources to users looking up certain content, after it received criticism from some users and consumer safety groups over its removal. This comes only a few days after the social media platform's new owner Elon Musk had ordered the feature to be taken down.
The feature, known as #ThereIsHelp, places a banner at the top of search results for certain topics. It includes contacts for support organizations in many countries related to mental health, HIV, vaccines, child sexual exploitation, COVID-19, gender-based violence, natural disasters and freedom of expression.
After the initial report was published by Reuters on Friday citing two people familiar with the matter who said that Musk had ordered its removal; Twitter head of trust and safety Ella Irwin confirmed this but called it temporary. She stated that they were “fixing relevance” of their message prompts as well as “optimizing size” while also correcting outdated prompts so they appear useful once again instead of being gone permanently.
About 15 hours later after no response from Musk initially when asked about this issue; he went on Twitter himself denying any such order given by him stating “False it is still there” in reference to #ThereIsHelp still being available on his platform when looked up with certain keywords or topics. He further clarified his stance stating “Twitter doesn't prevent suicide” which seems true considering this service is more of an informational tool rather than one preventing suicides directly itself since those are done physically anyway not online unless we consider cyberbullying or similar cases here too.
The restoration of this important feature is surely a welcome move by all stakeholders involved here right from consumers and user groups fighting for its return till even Elon Musk himself who may have realized how important these features are in today's world where mental health issues are very common among different age groups due to stress caused due to various reasons like work life balance etcetera thus making tools like #ThereIsHelp all the more necessary now without any doubt whatsoever!