How to Report Suicidal Expressions on Facebook

Earlier this week, Facebook launched a new initiative to augment its response to potentially suicidal members by offering them the opportunity for a private chat with a trained crisis representative from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Facebook suicide report 2This service will be available to people who use Facebook in the United States and Canada.

The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout Facebook.

The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an e-mail from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker.

Preventing suicide is everyone’s business. Nearly 100 Americans die by suicide every day, and in the past year, more than eight million Americans 18 or older had thought seriously about suicide.

Here's a free printable on this new program. Feel free to share it with teachers, parents, youth pastors or anyone else who works with youth.

Related Resources

What You Need to Know About Facebook Privacy Settings & Teens

As part of my work with Facebook on teacher, schools and educational media outreach, we've put together a series of free handouts.

In this handout, we share how privacy works for teens on Facebook. It's good information for parents, youth pastors and anybody who works with kids.

Facebook 101: Special Privacy Settings for Students and Other Minors

Infographic: Everything You Wanted to Know (and more!) About Security on Facebook

image from www.debaird.netIn this infographic you can find out more about Facebook's security infrastructure and an overview of the tools available to all users to increase their level of account security.

Also, be sure to take a look at the resources in the Facebook Safety Center which is full of multimedia and other resources with domain specific sections for Law Enforcement, Parents, Teachers and Teens.

Facebook Security Infographic

More Facebook Security Tips & Tricks

Lady Gaga Teams Up with Harvard, MacArthur and the California Endowment to Launch the 'Born This Way Foundation'

GagaLady Gaga on Wednesday launched the Born This Way Foundation to support programs dealing with youth empowerment and help people facing bullying and abandonment.

To date, Lady Gaga has harnessed the power of the Internet to attract more than 44 million fans on Facebook and 15 million followers on Twitter.

The foundation, named after her Grammy-winning album and single of the same name, was launched by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project. Together we hope to establish a standard of Bravery and Kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment."

It follows on the singer's interests in supporting youth issue. Last year she partnered with Virgin Mobile to raise awareness of homeless youth and after the suicide of bullying victim Jeremy Rodemyer she elevated the issue of bullying in schools into the national spotlight and even raised the issue with President Obama.

Born this way foundation
The Born This Way Foundation will be work closely with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment, both focusing on youth empowerment.

The Foundation will also work with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, which focuses on the power of the Internet as a means to promote change.

Trend Watch: Why Parents Help Children Lie to Facebook About Age

image from www.debaird.netFacebook, like many communication services and social media sites, uses its Terms of Service (ToS) to forbid children under the age of 13 from creating an account.

Such prohibitions are not uncommon in response to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which seeks to empower parents by requiring commercial Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting data from children under 13.

Given economic costs, social concerns,and technical issues, most general–purpose sites opt to restrict underage access through their ToS. Yet in spite of such restrictions, research suggests that millions of underage users circumvent this rule and sign up for accounts on Facebook.

Given strong evidence of parental concern about children’s online activity, this raises questions of whether or not parents understand ToS restrictions for children, how they view children’s practices of circumventing age restrictions, and how they feel about children’s access being regulated.

This paper provides survey data that show that many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and that they are often complicit in helping their children join the site.

The data suggest that, by creating a context in which companies choose to restrict access to children, COPPA inadvertently undermines parents’ ability to make choices and protect their children’s data. Our data have significant implications for policy–makers, particularly in light of ongoing discussions surrounding COPPA and other age–based privacy.

A few  takeaways:

  • “As a result of COPPA, lying about one’s age has become normal, and parents often help children lie, [which] creates safety and privacy issues.”
  • “Online safety and privacy are of great concern to parents, but most parents do not want solutions that result in age-based restrictions for their children.”
  • “Parents are open to recommended age ratings and other approaches that offer guidance without limiting their children’s access.”
  • 84% were aware their children signed up and, of that 84%, nearly two-thirds (64%) even “helped create the account.
  • 53% of the parents know Facebook has a minimum age; 35% think it’s “a recommendation, not a requirement”
  • 78% reported various reasons that make it acceptable for their children to ignore or violate minimum age restrictions online.”
  • Because children lie about their age, these sites still collect data about children under 13 that COPPA would otherwise prohibit without explicit parental consent.”
  • “Such a high incidence of parent-supported Terms of Service circumvention results in a normalization of the practice of violating online rules. This results in a worst-case scenario where none of COPPA’s public policy goals for mediating children’s interactions with these websites are met.”
  • “Instead of providing more tools to help parents and their children make informed choices, industry responses to COPPA have neglected parental preferences and have altogether restricted what is available for children to access.”

Why Parents Help Children Lie to Facebook about age: Unintended consequences of COPPA

Global Youth: EU Kids Online Study Suggests Removing Age Restrictions on Facebook

image from Significant numbers of children are breaking the rules by setting up their own profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, finds a new EU Kids Online study.

The report, Social Networking, Age and Privacy, found that 38 per cent of 9-12-year-olds use social networking sites, with one in five of the age group having a profile on Facebook, even though the network sets a minimum age of 13 to join.

"Since children often lie about their age to join 'forbidden' sites it would be more practical to identify younger users and to target them with easy-to-use protective measures."

Researchers who carried out the EU Kids Online survey of 25,000 young people across Europe say it shows that age restrictions are only partially effective and that a growing number of children are taking online risks.

A quarter of children on social networking sites have their profile set to ‘public’. One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.

Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science, who directs the project, said: ‘It seems clear that children are moving to Facebook – this is now the most popular site in 17 of the 25 countries we surveyed. Many providers try to restrict their users to 13-year-olds and above but we can see that this is not effective.’

Especially younger children are less likely to use privacy options and to understand the safety features that are available. According to the report, across the 25 European countries surveyed, 57 per cent of children (aged 9 to 16) use Facebook as their sole or main social networking site. This ranges from 98 per cent in Cyprus, to only two per cent in Poland.

Need for better protective measures

The findings raise the possibility that removing age restrictions from social network sites might be the most effective way of improving online safety as the rules have the consequence of driving kids’ social networking underground.

Among other findings, the survey shows that almost one in six 9-12-year-olds, and one in three 13-16s, have 100 or more online contacts. Around a quarter of SMS users communicate online with people who have no connection to their offline lives, including one fifth of 9-12 year olds across all SMS (and one quarter of younger Facebook users).

Key findings of the report:

  • Social networking sites (SNS) are popular among European children: 38% of 9-12 year olds and 77% of 13-16 year olds have a profile. Facebook is used by one third of 9-16 year old internet users.
  • One in five 9-12 year olds have a Facebook profile, rising to over 4 in 10 in some countries.
  • Age restrictions are only partially effective, although there are many differences by country and SNS.
  • Younger children are more likely than older to have their profile ‘public’. A quarter of 9-12 year old SNS users have their profile ‘set to public’.
  • Parental rules for SMS use, when applied, are partly effective, especially for younger children.
  • One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.
  • The features designed to protect children from other users if needed are not easily understood, by many younger and some older children.

EU Kids Online: Social Networking, Age and Privacy

Facebook DC Live: Protecting Kids Online

FacebookDC Join Facebook Security Team's Chris Sonderby, Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Microsoft's Bill Harmon and other panelists for a discussion of how new technologies are helping to protect kids online.

They will also discuss some recent efforts both on and off of Facebook to stop child exploitation and keep kids safe.

To watch at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on Friday, click the "FB DC Live" navigation link on or go directly to:

Facebook DC Live: Facebook for Educators

FacebookDC Join Linda Fogg Phillips, co-author (along with myself and BJ Fogg) of the new Facebook for Educators guide, Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, and other panelists for a discussion of how teachers and administrators can connect safely and appropriately with students on Facebook and other social media sites to extend learning outside the classroom.

Facebook will also discuss some recent efforts both on and off of Facebook to thank teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.

To watch at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, click the "FB DC Live" navigation link on or go directly to:

Ask questions for our guests on the wall of this event.

Facebook Safety Live Event: Keeping Kids Safe Online

Facebook.safetyOn Tuesday, April 19 (9:30 am PST) Facebook Live will host a live discussion focused on Facebook’s latest efforts to keep people safe online. This is going to be a great event that highlights the tools that Facebook offers parents, teachers and kids to protect themselevs online.

Hear from a members of the Facebook Safety Team and safety educators Larry Magid, Co-director of, and Linda Fogg Phillips, Co-Author of Facebook for Parents and Facebook for Educators.

The event will also highlight several new initatives (nope, I can't tell you! But they are really slick!) including the project that I've been working on Facebook for Educators.

A few months ago Facebook asked BJ Fogg, Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University and Linda Fogg-Phillips, author of Facebook for Parents and an expert on parenting in the digital age and myself to collaborate on the Facebook for Educators project.

You'll hear more about that during the Facebook Safety event on Tuesday, but it's been a really exciting project to work on.

The team at Facebook are really committed to providing everyone, but especially teens and young adults, with a safe and secure experience when they are interacting on the world's biggest social network.

So be sure to tune in on Tuesday to get the latest news on Facebook's efforts to keep everyone safe online.

Related: Facebook Live: White House Conference on Bullying

Trend Watch: The Social Media Divide

"The Digital Divide" has vexed and worried researchers for at least a decade, raising concerns that entire groups of Americans might be left behind, unable to afford the gadgets of the 21st Century.

Perhaps it’s the social network divide they should worry about instead.

6a00d83451b0aa69e2014e86bc2a6c970d-320wi There is plenty of empirical evidence that those who choose to avoid Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter suffer social consequences: Ask anyone who missed a party -- or for that matter, a wedding -- that was organized on Facebook.

New evidence from a survey conducted exclusively for suggests that divide is becoming a pitched battle, with simmering frustrations between pro- and anti-social network crowds over an issue that is central to the digital age and the future of social networks: Privacy.

 The survey suggests that Americans' opinions on privacy are polarizing towards two extremes -- it's become either much more important or much less important -- and the fault line is social media participation.  It was conducted by The Ponemon Institute as part of’s recent four-part privacy series.



Facebook Live Event: White House Conference on Bullying Prevention

image from On Thursday, the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention will bring together communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it.

Every day, thousands of kids, teens, and young adults around the country are bullied both online and offline. Estimates are that nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each school year - upwards of 13 million students.

Students involved in bullying are more likely to have challenges in school, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and to have health and mental health issues. If we fail to address bullying we put ourselves at a disadvantage for increasing academic achievement and making sure all of our students are college and career ready.

As part of the agenda, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett will host a policy panel with issue experts including Catherine Bradshaw of Johns Hopkins University, George Sugai from the University of Connecticut, Susan Swearer-Napolitano from the University of Nebraska, as well as the Cyberbullying Research Center's Justin Patchin.

The White House Conference on Bullying Prevention will be streamed via Facebook Live starting at 12:20pm ET. President and Ms. Obama have also released a video PSA about bullying that was released exclusively on Facebook.


Some of the featured guests include:

• Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan: Joe, a former federal prosecutor and founding member of the Justice Department's Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Units, oversees safety and security for Facebook's more than 500 million active users.

• Rosalind Wiseman: Rosalind is an internationally recognized expert on teens, parenting and bullying. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes, was the basis for the movie Mean Girls, and her follow-up book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads, addresses the social hierarchies and conflicts among parents.

• Togetherville Founder Mandeep Dhillon: Mandeep is the founder of Togetherville, a social networking community designed to connect kids, friends and families. Mandeep is one of the leading voices and authorities on pre-tween and tweens and the social web.

MTV Vice President of Public Affairs Jason Rzepka: Jason is responsible for marshaling the network’s forces to engage and activate America’s youth on the biggest challenges facing their generation.

Related: Social Networking Safety & Privacy Tips for Parents, Teachers & Kids

LG Launches Text Ed with 'Glee' Star Jane Lynch

LG.JaneLynch.TextEd The LG Text Ed program, which was launched in early 2010, offers parents a number of articles, tips, videos and other content so they can educate themselves on the dangers of mobile phone misuse, employ strategies to help protect their children from potential problems, and discover how they might be modeling their children’s mobile phone behavior.

In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, presented during the Federal Communication Commission’s recent Generation Mobile Forum, 40 percent of teens said they’ve been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger.

LG Text Ed with Jane Lynch

Jane.lynch.mug.shot Bringing her trademark intensity and flair to the LG Text Ed campaign, award-winning actress Jane Lynch is working with LG Mobile Phones to raise awareness about risky mobile phone behavior.

In a series of comedic vignettes, which can be viewed on, Lynch tackles issues such as sexting, texting while driving, mobile bullying, and other questionable teen behaviors. 

At the end of each video, Lynch directs parents to where they can find professional advice and guidance to help promote safe and responsible mobile usage among their text- and tech-savvy families.

In the texting while driving video, Lynch confronts a classroom of parents about their own texting and driving bad habits and urges parents to model good behavior for their children.

Using humor to get to the heart of the issue, Lynch helps parents help themselves by putting the phone away in the car and encouraging their kids to do the same.

Parents can find additional information on the LG Text Ed initiative and mobile phone misuse (mobile bullying, sexting) by visiting You can also connect with LG Text Ed on Facebook.


Related: 'No Phone Zone' Lesson Plan: Teaching Teens the Dangers of Texting & Driving

A Parents' Guide to Facebook

Facebook.button.round This guide is designed to help you understand what Facebook is and how to use it safely. With it, you will be better informed and able to communicate with young Facebook users in your life more effectively.

That's important because: 1) if something goes wrong, we want our children to come to us and 2) as the Internet becomes increasingly social and mobile, a parent’s guidance and support are ever more key to young people’s well-being in social media and technology.

The guidebook is published by Connect Safely in partnership with the iKeepSafe Coalition. A Parents' Guide to Facebook

Related: Recommended Facebook Safety Settings for Teens [Chart]