A 48year old part time electrician, Shane Tusch has been arrested for posting a hoax suicide threat on Facebook. He said he wanted to test the Facebook revamped suicide prevention programme.
A reader alerted police of his threat to hang himself from the Golden Gate Bridge in California and he was arrested for about 72 hours.
Tusch however, said there was no ‘checks and balances’ in the Facebook suicide prevention programme which allows readers to flag up posts that indicate someone may be suicidal and get help from trained professionals. He said the person who flagged up his ‘suicidal’ post was almost ‘a complete stranger’. His case has attracted the attention of various groups. The US lobby group Consumer Watchdog agreed with Tusch and have written to the Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg asking him to ‘suspend the suicide prevention programme until it is fully protective of the rights of all individuals and contains safeguards against abuse.
“To fear the world US has led for the better part of a century, abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe and refuse the obligations of international leadership… for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solving problems is unpatriotic. “
-US Senator John McCain(At National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia)
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