NEW YORK (Reuters) – Twitter has opened a suicide prevention hotline and other safety resources to users searching for certain content after facing pressure from some users and consumer safety groups to take it down. Restored the ability to advertise.
Reuters reported Friday that the feature was removed days ago, citing two people familiar with the matter who said the removal was ordered by social media platform owner Elon Musk.
After the story was published, Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, confirmed the removal, calling it temporary. In an email to Reuters, Irwin said she was “fixing and improving the prompt. In the meantime, the prompt has only been temporarily removed.”
“We hope to have them back next week,” she said.
About 15 hours after the initial report, Musk, who initially did not respond to a request for comment, tweeted, “That’s a mistake, it’s still there.” In response to criticism from Twitter users, he tweeted, “Twitter can’t prevent suicide.”
Known as #ThereIsHelp, this feature placed a banner at the top of search results for specific topics. Includes contact information for many national aid organizations related to mental health, HIV, vaccines, child sexual exploitation, COVID-19, gender-based violence, natural disasters, and freedom of expression.
Its removal prompted some consumer safety groups and Twitter users to express concern about the health of vulnerable users of the platform.
Partly under pressure from consumer safety groups, Internet services such as Twitter, Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Meta Inc.’s Facebook (META.O) have for years slammed governments if users were suspicious. have attempted to direct users to well-known resource providers such as Someone may be in danger of harming themselves or others.
In an email, Twitter’s Irwin said, “Google has taken advantage of these in their search results, and[we]actually reflect some of their approach in the changes we’re making. I will.”
She added, “We know these prompts are useful in many cases, and we just want to make sure they work and remain relevant.”
Eirliani Abdul Rahman, a member of Twitter’s recently disbanded Content Advisory Group, said the disappearance of #ThereIsHelp was “very disturbing and very disturbing.”
Even when it’s temporarily removed for improvement, “usually you end up working in parallel without removing it,” she said.
Reporting by Kenneth Lee from New York, Sheila Dun from Dallas, Paresh Dave from Auckland and Fanny Potkin from Singapore.Edited by Daniel Wallis
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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