An Alabama man live-streamed his suicide on Facebook, drawing concern from law enforcement officials who are worried that using the social media platform to showcase violence is becoming a trend.
James M. Jeffrey, 49, of Robertsdale, Ala. reportedly shot himself in the head with a rifle Tuesday while streaming the scene on Facebook Live, Al.com reported. Anthony Lowery, assistant chief deputy with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, said the video had more than 1,000 views and had been shared a several times before it was removed from Facebook after two hours, according to USA Today.
“This was a first for us,” Lowery told USA Today. “I hope this isn’t a trend starting. It’s one thing to commit suicide. It’s another thing to victimize other people.”
The incident follows a string of violence on the social media giant over the past week. On Easter Sunday, an Ohio man fatally shot a 74-year-old man and posted the video on Facebook. On Tuesday, a man in Thailand hung his 11-month-old daughter while streaming on Facebook Live before killing himself. The latter reportedly stayed on the site for roughly 24 hours before it was taken down, according to reports.
Facebook last month announced plans to integrate real-time suicide prevention tools into Facebook Live in addition to live-chat support from organizations such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line. “We have a lot of work and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a keynote speech last week.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment following this latest incident.
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