Simone Back Announces Suicide On Facebook--And None Of Her Friends Help
UPDATE: A Facebook spokesperson has contacted HuffPostTech with the following statement regarding Simone Back's suicide:
We were deeply saddened to hear of the recent suicide of Simone Back. We have a close working relationship with the Samaritans and have a process in place whereby friends and family who are concerned about someone can report it to us through the Help Centre. A team of trained professionals are then able to review the case and the Samaritans will make contact with the person at risk. The safety of people who use Facebook is of paramount importance to us and this system is just one of number of tools we have in place to help them stay safe.
The spokesperson noted that Facebook's Help Center is located at www.facebook.com/help
Forty-two year-old Simone Back announced her intention to commit suicide in a status update on Facebook--and not one of her over 1,000 Facebook friends reached out in person to help.
According to the Daily Mail, Back, who committed suicide on Christmas Day, wrote in her Facebook status, "Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone."
What followed was a series of callous posts from some of Back's Facebook friends. The Telegraph writes, "Some of the Facebook friends posted messages calling her a liar and one said it was 'her choice'. Seventeen hours later, police broke down the door of her flat in Montague Street, Brighton, and found her dead."
Back's mother told the Daily Mail that none of her daughter's online friends attempted to help her in person. The Daily Mail explains,
While some Facebook friends from out of town begged online for her address and telephone number so they could get help, none of those who lived closer did anything to help.
Miss Back's friend, Samantha Pia Owen, said: "Everyone just carried on arguing with each other on Facebook like it wasn't happening. Some of those people lived within walking distance of Simone."
Back's case is not the first in which someone has announced their intention to commit suicide via Facebook. In 2010, Rutgers University was shocked by the death of student Tyler Clementi, who posted a status update on Facebook that read "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry" shortly before his body was found in the Hudson River.