Men are silhouetted against a video screen with an Twitter logo. Image Credit: REUTERS
A Canadian teenager who was contemplating suicide has been talked out of the extreme step by users of Twitter.
The unidentified girl tweeted on Saturday night about her plan to kill herself, saying: "I'm gonna attempt suicide tonight. Bye everyone. My last wishes are that my siblings finish school and become emergency responders.
Her tweet was read by Twitter users from across the world and many of them came forward without hesitation to help the girl, whose Twitter account says she is 17 years old.
Christopher Wiggins, a journalist from Washington DC, was one of those who tried to dissuade the girl from taking her life. He told WUSA9: "I happen to sympathise with people with depression because I've struggled with that kind of feeling myself.
"There's nothing I can do that would make the situation worse other than to ignore it."
Wiggins said he was not immediately sure whether the tweet was real, so he went through the girl's previous tweets and figured she might have been unhappy or upset about something.
As soon as he realised the tweet could be real, Wiggins contacted the girl and started speaking to her.
"I began writing her with the simple question, "Are you okay?",' Wiggins told CTV.
After speaking to the girl for some time, Wiggins also gave her his cell number and told her she could call him if she wanted to speak.
"I said, 'The police are trying to look for you, you know they're worried, a lot of people are worried about you.'" Wiggins added.
Wiggins then asked the girl to pass over her number to him. When she did, he immediately alerted Calgary Police and informed them of the situation.
Apart from Wiggins, there also were others who not only responded to the girl's Tweet, but went to the extent of offering her their mobile numbers.
The Calgary police had been alerted about the situation from multiple callers across North America, Officers told WUSA9.
While the police did not reveal the teenager's identity or anything about the situation, they said that the girl has been checked on and is doing fine.
"In this case, Twitter saved someone's life period," Wiggins said.
"Twitter allowed the police, the public and the media to work together and confirm...someone in need."
The news has come in the wake of several reported cases of death from cyber bullying. Several people, mostly teenagers, have been pushed to suicide after suffering abuse on social media.
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