Well, this really shows how worthless an online 'community' can be, and is a dire warning not to rely on Facebook announcements. It's been on local TV tonight, and has been reported by the Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jan/05/facebook-suicide-simone-back
A Brighton woman of 42 felt desperate enough to take all her pills in a suicide bid, left a farewell message on Facebook for her 'friends', but was not taken seriously by those who could have gone round to see her and save her life. Instead a series of online exchanges took place, which achieved nothing, and meanwhile the woman in question died.
Should any of her Facebook friends have intervened? Even if she might have been simply crying out in pain, even if she made a habit of it, I'd have thought a real friend would knock on her door to see if she was all right. She was obviously miserable and should not have been left in a potentially self-destructive mood. I personally don't think, if I had been one of those friends, that I could have ignored a clear suicide threat, or would have wasted time arguing about it. I'd have acted - gone round to see whether it was real, and be prepared to summon medical help, and stick around till it arrived. Is that so hard to do?
So much for Facebook.
Interestingly I got the strong impression that she had been trans. If so, then at least this time, or at least so far, the press have not made anything of that.