Twitter restores suicide prevention feature after public backlash – Times of India


Days after reportedly taking down its suicide prevention feature on the orders of Elon Musk, the microblogging platform’s new owner, Twitter has restored the “#ThereIsHelp,” suicide prevention feature.
Musk denies taking down the suicide prevention feature
Last week, Reuters reported that the feature was taken down a few days ago, and sources familiar told the publication that Musk had ordered the removal of the feature. However, quoting the report, Musk said it is false and the feature is still active.
In a tweet, Musk again reiterated that the feature has not been removed, adding that “Twitter doesn’t prevent suicide,” responding to the criticism over removing the suicide prevention feature.
Twitter’s head of trust and safety confirms the takedown
Ella Irwin, the head of trust and safety at Twitter, confirmed to Reuters that the feature was indeed removed, but it was done temporarily to fix the relevance.
“Google does really well with these in their search results and [we] are actually mirroring some of their approach with the changes we are making,” said Irwin in an email to Reuters. She further added: “We know these prompts are useful in many cases and just want to make sure they are functioning properly and continue to be relevant.”
The suicide prevention feature of Twitter, known as #ThereIsHelp, shows a banner at the top of search results for searches around mental health, vaccines, HIV, domestic violence, and more. It lists contacts for organisations that work towards these issues in a number of countries for users who might need help.
The removal received flak from consumer safety groups and users over the concern for the well-being of users, who could be in a vulnerable position. In a blog post, Twitter said it is the platform’s responsibility to ensure users can “access and receive support on our service when they need it most.”
#ThereIsHelp was first introduced around five years ago and is available in 30 countries. Soon after Musk bought the platform, the feature was updated to show information related to natural disasters in Indonesia and Malaysia.





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