Twitter Brings Back Suicide Prevention After Removing It

Twitter claims it is working to bring back the #ThereIsHelp banner. This feature directed users to suicide prevention hotlines when they searched for content. Reuters reported Friday that the company had removed this safety tool earlier in the week due to Elon Musk’s orders.

Ella Irwin (Twitter’s trust and safety head), confirmed that the story was removed but stated it was temporary.

We have been fixing and revamping our prompts. They were just temporarily removed while we do that. We expect to have them back up next week

Musk claimed that Twitter never removed the feature on Saturday morning. He said that the message was still up and that “This is fake news,”. He added, “Twitter does not prevent suicide.” Folks over at Engadget spent Saturday afternoon searching for keywords like “suicide”, “COVID-19”, and other similar terms, but the banner didn’t appear.

Irwin stated that Twitter will adopt Google’s approach. She added that the company “does really well with these in their search results and [we] are actually mirroring some of their approach with the changes we are making.”

Some consumer safety advocates were critical of Twitter after the #ThereIsHelp banner disappeared, even though it was temporary. Eirliani Abdul Rahman was a former member of the company’s Trust and Safety council. Rahman said that she found the incident “extremely disconcerting and profoundly disturbing” and pointed out that companies often work on safety features in parallel, leaving existing ones in place and replacing them.