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Jack Dorsey Responds To Serial Killer Who Found His Victims Through Suicidal Twitter Posts (nhk.or.jp) 73

AmiMoJo shares a report from NHK WORLD: Twitter's CEO is reacting to a grisly case in Japan where a suspected serial killer allegedly found his victims through their suicidal posts on the social media platform. In an interview with NHK, Jack Dorsey said it is unrealistic and impossible to remove suicidal tweets. But he said he hoped Twitter could become a tool for prevention. Last month, the dismembered bodies of 9 people were found in 27-year-old Takahiro Shiraishi's apartment near Tokyo. Police say he admitted to the killings. They believe he preyed on people who posted about wanting to kill themselves on Twitter. Recently, Twitter updated its rules regarding posts about self-harm: "You may not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, we may take a number of steps to assist them, such as reaching out to that person and providing resources such as contact information for our mental health partners."
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Jack Dorsey Responds To Serial Killer Who Found His Victims Through Suicidal Twitter Posts

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  • Nobody cares (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @05:46PM (#55566305)
    Until you've got a gun in your hand. Try getting help if you're or your loved one isn't actively trying to commit suicide. Bottom line mental health care is expensive and nobody wants to pay for it. Especially when it's so easy to tell somebody to get over it, it's all in your head.
    • Until you've got a gun in your hand. Try getting help if you're or your loved one isn't actively trying to commit suicide. Bottom line mental health care is expensive and nobody wants to pay for it. Especially when it's so easy to tell somebody to get over it, it's all in your head.

      Yup. It's part of why people self harm with blades. Visible, blood and everything, but controllable and safe. The hospital has proof that you did actually hurt yourself and you get the help you need.

      Whereas you can't shoot yourself in the head or hang yourself a little bit unless you really know what you're doing.

  • The Changing World (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @05:52PM (#55566335)

    Mental health care and mental illness has always been problematic, and while in the past it was primarily the responsibility of friends and family to take action if there was a concern, with our increasingly connected society, there is increased responsibility to escalate posts of concern to the proper authorities/mental health professionals. The problem with Facebook, Google and the other internet monopolies is that they want this massive marketshare, but then are demonstrably incapable of handling the responsibilities that come with it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2017 @05:56PM (#55566359)

      And who says responsibility comes with it? Why is it their job suddenly because they make a generic way to talk to others? When phone networks went up was it suddenly Bell's job to listen in and report anyone talking about killing themselves?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do you think OP was a cry for help? Maybe Slashdot should report it.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's a moral responsibility. Human beings sometimes feel those.

    • while in the past it was primarily the responsibility of friends and family to take action if there was a concern [about mental illness]

      For the vast majority of people in the past, if you were crazy you lived as a vagrant or a beggar and died in pretty short order afterwards. Nobody gave a shit about your life even if you wanted to stay alive, let alone if you wanted to off yourself. If you came from a moderately wealthy family, you might get to live in a horrific asylum [mentalfloss.com] (and that was in the 19th century, not even talking about medieval times, which holy crap they'd probably assume you were possessed by a demon and flay you to save your sou

      • I was referring to the more recent past: 1950s through 1970s where involuntary commitment in sanitariums kept the mentally ill from harming themselves or others. It was certainly not perfect, but after the 1970s where the ACLU essentially eliminated involuntary commitment, we are back to the mentally ill living on the streets and sleeping in doorways... No one is saying the mentally ill have had it easy throughout history, but at least in the 1960s they had a roof over their head and 3 square meals a day

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          and other times that child the step parent did not really want, or troublesome younger sister you did not want to deal with, ended up with a twist drill inserted into their head.

          • Or sold into slavery. Or impressed into the army or navy. Or prostituted. For most of history, the majority of humans existing in some form of slavery/serfdom in which they had zero agency whatsoever.

            It just annoys me that our current discourse is so fragile that we feel the need to whitewash the past. And I think it contributes to a lot of errors in our thinking because we lost the perspective of where we came from and how things were. We think that things are going downhill in our country (here in the US)

            • It is true that we have it good, and to a large extent, the reason we have it good is because we used to have the majority of the electorate in the US well educated and capable of thinking for themselves. They cared about truth and pursued it and they voted based on the truth they had found. The system was never perfect, but it was continuously getting better, and then the Democrats realized that they were losing power, so they switched their focus from graft, election rigging and political beatings and s

          • The history I am referring to is the recent past, something like 1950 to 1970, after which the ACLU eliminated involuntary confinement, and the government shut down the majority of sanitariums in favor of "pill" treatments which clearly do not work for a large swath of the mentally ill. Were there historically a few people committed who did not be long? I am sure there were and it was shitty for them. That single issue could have been more easily addressed with some form of independent federal oversight,

        • OK fair enough. And I have no dispute that, while the asylums were awful, de-institutionalization was also (a different kind of) awful.

          What I will continue stand by, however, is that pointing to very recent developments (~50 years, out of 3000 years of human history) and referring to it as "the past" is incredibly selective.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Matching supply with demand. What could be more capitalist than that?

  • Bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by countach ( 534280 ) on Thursday November 16, 2017 @06:13PM (#55566471)

    Surely we wouldn't want to censor the cry for help that could save their life? This serial killer thing is a one off.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Who said anything about censoring cries for help?

      The Twitter ToS say you can't encourage other people to harm themselves. Saying you want to harm yourself is fine, although if someone flags it Twitter might intervene somehow such as calling local medical services.

  • So never expect any empathy from Jack Dorsey because any attempt to intervene is a penny from his own pocket/bonus.
  • Desperation and grief are not mental illnesses. They are sound and logical reactions to a hostile environment.

    We have to stop pretending that everything in our westernized societies is okay and that the people who can't adapt are insane somehow. It's not these people that need treatment by and large, it's this society that needs treatment.

    The few cases of people born with clear physical defects that lead to depression are not a significant fraction of people who commit suicide or want to.

  • As much as I detest Twitter, I fail to see how this kind of thing is really Twitter's fault or responsibility.

  • ... is that it brings people together. Coincidentally, that's also the worst thing.
  • by n329619 ( 4901461 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @05:05AM (#55568351)

    Let's put Jack Dorsey on the side. For the japanese guy who did all this, should he even be considered a serial killer? The thing is, it looks like he is doing a service to those people like the right-to-die.

    Although this is not a service that makes any sense ( Irony: a lot of Japanese stuff doesn't make any sense) within a moral and civil society where being alive is important, it still does question his initial action of 'is it wrong'. Think about those movies like an injured soldier wanted you to end his life with one last bullet or a sick love one suffering life long pain wishing to end it. It is a difficult moral choose we make as we debate the right and wrong of our choice. But if there's someone else doing it, is he wrong?

    If it wasn't for the dismembering (wtf why did he do it), it maybe worth to conduct further investigation on what actually happened, to see whether or not he should be named a serial killer or in fact a suicide service provider.

    • There is a reason why even most people who support right to die assisted suicides support a rigorous process of confirming that it's a real, persistent desire. Many suicidal thoughts, and even attempts, are temporary (not that that should discourage people from seeking help if someone is thinking about, threatening or attempted suicide; many are not without help).

      This person didn't do that. So, yeah, he's a serial killer.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Except European countries are by and large moving forward with euthanasia both for people with other mental illness and children.

        Essentially at least within American circles everything conservatives feared would follow from opening the door to assisted suicide is rapidly coming true. Just like here in the states where "safe legal and rare" has turned into "at any stage, for any reason, on demand, and on the tax payer dime" with regard to abortion. Next most of us in the center figured as far as all these

  • Jack Dorsey said it is unrealistic and impossible to remove suicidal tweets.

    I could probably do it with a grep script, but if you have the resources, some machine learning could be helpful too. You could give users a suicide "heat level" based on the output of the grep script and user reports, and focus the attention of the more resource intensive machine-learning algorithm on the "hottest" users.

    Now give me a million dollars for this amazing innovation.

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