In 2020, the United States Congress established the 988 dialing code as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, to be called the 988 Lifeline. Designed to better serve the nation’s growing mental health crisis, on July 16, 2022, the U.S. officially transitioned to the easy-to-remember three-digit number. According to a press announcement from Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, within the first month, the number saw a 45 percent increase in overall volume and a substantial improvement in answer rates and wait times compared to August 2021. While dedicated help for those suffering from mental health issues is encouraging, Becerra has neglected to report that dozens of 988 Lifeline websites across the country—which pledge anonymity for those seeking help during often desperate moments in their lives—have been quietly sending sensitive visitor data to Facebook through a tool called the Meta Pixel.
In a June 13, 2023 article co-published with STAT, The Markup found that, in some cases, filling out contact forms on local crisis center websites under the umbrella of the 988 Lifeline transmitted hashed but effortlessly unscrambled names and email addresses to Facebook. The 988 system is set up so that it connects callers to counselors in their own state. Thus, based on the caller’s area code, calls are routed to the various local crisis centers—an extensive network of over 200 local and state-funded crisis centers. Given that it is common knowledge that Facebook is aware its platforms are toxic for teenagers, it is incredibly concerning that the government-connected social media giant received data on despairing individuals anonymously seeking help for serious mental health issues. With its corrupt algorithms and hidden agenda, it is not hard to imagine the destructive suggested content these unsuspecting individuals might receive after their 988 Lifeline call data reaches Facebook.
Just last week, Americans received additional confirmation that Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform Instagram is encouraging the collapse of our nation’s children. According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts uncovered that Instagram “connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests.” Troublingly, in 2022, just like the unacceptable rise in suicide amongst our nation’s youth, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported a 47 percent rise in reports of child pornography from two years prior. The WSJ investigation found that “even glancing contact with an account in Instagram’s pedophile community can trigger the platform to begin recommending that users join it.”
Researchers from UMASS and Stanford uncover pedophile network on Instagram.
“Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share niche interests, the Journal and the academic…
— Champagne Joshi (@JoshWalkos) June 7, 2023
Meanwhile, as indicated by the deadly mRNA COVID-19 “vaccine” campaign, the Biden administration has unequivocally failed to defend the health of all American citizens, and mental health is at the top of the list. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), suicide is a leading cause of death for individuals aged 10 to 34. Shockingly, in 2020, the U.S. had one death by suicide every 11 minutes—and it would be remiss not to consider social media’s central position in these statistics.
A 2018 systematized review of literature related to the role of online social networking on deliberate self-harm and suicidality in adolescents published in PubMed concluded that “greater time spent on online social networking leads to greater exposure to and engagement in self-harm behavior,” which also leads to an “increase in psychological distress and suicidal ideation in depressed adolescents.” So why does a Biden administration-led U.S. taxpayer-funded effort to more effectively fight mental illness send private user data to a social media platform—in this case, Facebook—that is understood to facilitate anxiety and depression? Witnessing Biden’s promotion of the destruction of our youth, the more pertinent question becomes, “Is it part of a bigger plan?”
This is what happened at the White House pride event. A disgrace to our country. pic.twitter.com/QmXVIdmOPr
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) June 13, 2023
Just what is Meta Pixel? According to Facebook, Meta Pixel is “a piece of code that you put on your website that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.” It can be used to find new customers or take a desired action towards people who have visited a specific webpage. The Markup remarked, “Meta can use information gathered from its tools for its own purposes, and data sent to the company through the pixels scattered across the web enters a black box that can catalog and organize data with little oversight.”
The Markup investigation revealed that of the thirty-three 988 Lifeline crisis centers whose websites sent data to Facebook, some had never heard of the “massively popular” Meta Pixel and were surprisingly unaware that the invasive code was on their website and indicated they’d take steps to remove it. Still, with well over two million pixels collecting data across the web, there is no federal privacy legislation in the United States that regulates how the data collected by Meta can be used. And while Meta insists its policies prohibit organizations from sending sensitive information through the pixel on children under 13, or generally any data related to sensitive financial or health matters, The Markup found several primary services tied to 988 Lifeline that sent this type of very sensitive information to Facebook.
Without question, the Markup investigation confirms that even though Meta states it specifically prohibits information on “mental health and psychological states” as well as “physical locations that identify a health condition, or places of treatment/counseling” from being shared, that is indeed not the case. Our youth and those facing very real and life-threatening mental health emergencies deserve better. It is time we all take notice of Meta whistleblower Frances Haugen’s recent warning that “tens of thousands” will die if social media isn’t overhauled. Most importantly, this number includes our children—the future of our fractured nation. In what is undoubtedly glaringly apparent to many, Haugen recently wrote that social media is exceptionally destructive due to a continued lack of transparency, adding:
“[Meta’s profits are contingent upon] no one knowing how large the gap between Facebook’s and Instagram’s public narratives and the truth has grown.”