22nd March 11:56 PM
Online Safety Commission working toward preventing suicides related to social media
By Iva Danford
Wednesday 06/02/2019
Online Safety Commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka speaking to youth in Nadi [Photo: Ministry of Youth and Sport]

By November 2017, 90 people in Fiji thought it was better for them to leave this planet as they thought it was okay to take their own lives and did so.

This was highlighted by the Online Safety Commissioner Anne Dunn Baleilevuka while addressing participants of the Ministry of Youth and Sports first divisional conference in Nadi.

Baleilevuka says out of those 90 cases, several people thought that it was the better option because of something they had seen or read about themselves on social media.

She says the Online Safety Commission is working towards building relationships with key organizations in a bid to prevent suicides.

Baleilevuka noted the sensitivities surrounding suicide cases and the impact of social media in suicide‑related behaviour.

She says in the same year, 7 cases of cyber bullying were reported to the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.

The Commission has also met with Lifeline Fiji in providing 24‑hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

The Commissioner urged participants of the Western Youth Conference to protect their sense of peace against cyber bullying, particularly as local authorities have limited powers to remove adverse content that affect Fijians on major social media sites such as Facebook.

Baleilevuka says they seek to achieve a 48‑hour turnaround time similar to foreign counterparts, the Office of the eSafety Commission in Australia and NetSafe in New Zealand, and is rolling out a portal with prescribed forms for complaints.

Pacific Specialist Healthcare
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