Media release: Conroy urged to pressure Facebook and Twitter over mental health concerns

Conroy urged to pressure Facebook and Twitter over mental health concerns

For immediate release

Wednesday January 16, 2013

A petition has been launched calling on social networks Facebook and Twitter to provide users with better mental health support. Following the high profile deaths of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz there are concerns social networks are not providing enough user support at times of high risk.

The petition includes calls for the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy to pressure the companies on providing stronger mental health support mechanisms. In a letter to the Minister, Media Educator Jonathan Brown requested for urgent pressure on the major social networks Facebook and Twitter and for a legislative response to be considered. Jonathan says the networks can better support their users:

“When broadcasters discuss issues with significant trigger potential it has been standard ethical practice to provide their audiences with mental health referral information. Social and communication networks like Facebook and Twitter should be held to the same standard. They have a corporate and ethical responsibility to make this information widely available on their networks at times of high trigger risk.”

The petition asks the networks to provide in feed referral information to mental health services. You can support the campaign by signing the petition here: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/facebook-and-twitter-provide-mental-health-referral-information-to-users and sharing the petition on Facebook and Twitter.

Jonathan Brown is a media educator based in Melbourne, Victoria.

Jonathan is available for comment at admin@wemattermedia.com or on 0439 384 569.

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