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19-Year-Old Lifecaster Commits Suicide on Justin.TV.
November 21, 2008 6:50 AM   Subscribe

19-Year-Old Commits Suicide on Justin.TV. [previously.]
posted by chunking express (128 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oof. That's a beautiful look at the human condition.
posted by MrMustard at 6:59 AM on November 21, 2008


Boy who called wolf. Trolling is an ancient art.
posted by stbalbach at 7:00 AM on November 21, 2008


i feel compelled to respond, if only to acknowledge the sadness of it. all other facts aside (the sites he was on, that he was a drug user, etc), nothing is worse than feeling worthless and having other people encourage that feeling. maybe he liked being a troll, idk, but it still seems awful that no one seemed to care enough that he was going beyond that.

i feel so sorry for his family and those who cared about him.

i can and cannot believe that the police dept didn't take the caller seriously. that kid's life might have been saved. but it's also understandable that the miami-dade police dept might have more pressing matters on their hands than a guy from India calling about some weird internet thing that may or may not be real.

*sigh*
posted by sio42 at 7:04 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:11 AM on November 21, 2008


.
posted by trueluk at 7:12 AM on November 21, 2008


Told u he was hardcore.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:14 AM on November 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


One of the users from that forum is commenting in the mashable thread, username davidthefat.
posted by chunking express at 7:16 AM on November 21, 2008


You can see the cops come in his room (guns drawn!?) here. The video is about 10 seconds long. I've seen it suggested the piece of wood is something the cops actually threw at him to see if he were still alive. That seems like a weird procedure.

Here's his suicide note along with some of the live responses online.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:19 AM on November 21, 2008


Kids not taking another kid seriously, unsurprising. Cops not taking seriously the email & phone calls about suicide in progress, definitely deserves official reprimand.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:20 AM on November 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


I've seen it suggested the piece of wood is something the cops actually threw at him to see if he were still alive. That seems like a weird procedure.

It's likely that the piece of wood is from the door, when it is kicked in.
posted by ColdChef at 7:21 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's an incredibly tasteless "lifecaster" joke in here somewhere, but I'm not going to dig that deeply. That this happened is really sad, and that it happened on a live internet broadcast is mindblowing.

.
posted by owtytrof at 7:21 AM on November 21, 2008


Rep me, I rep back.
posted by fixedgear at 7:22 AM on November 21, 2008


It's really surprising that this doesn't happen more often.
posted by ColdChef at 7:23 AM on November 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


owtytrof, I cut 'lifecaster' from the link text on purpose.
posted by chunking express at 7:24 AM on November 21, 2008


I was just going to say what ColdChef already did - the wood is probably a splinter from the frame when they bust it open.

That aside, this is ugly business all around, and I am unsettled.

Remember when Stile supposedly did this?
posted by kbanas at 7:25 AM on November 21, 2008


It's likely that the piece of wood is from the door, when it is kicked in.

That makes a lot more sense, yeah.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:26 AM on November 21, 2008


That screen capture makes me want to step away from the internet for a while. Not to get all pomo, but it's way too easy to get to the point where everything's spectacle and nothing's real. When the reaction to a guy killing himself right before your eyes is OMG LOL WTF, there's a problem.
posted by naju at 7:32 AM on November 21, 2008 [16 favorites]


An hero.
posted by rusty at 7:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Selfish little idiot. The article is insightful but overly charitable to homeboy in that it isn't critical.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 7:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kids today.
posted by spilon at 7:34 AM on November 21, 2008


That screen capture makes me want to step away from the internet for a while.

I agree 110%. Reading the chat on the side bar there is deeply, deeply unsettling.

You think it's just a mob thing? People in groups do fucked up things?
posted by kbanas at 7:36 AM on November 21, 2008


When asked about the broadcast via email, Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said:

As for the broadcaster incident last night, we don’t comment on individual videos, however, our policy prohibits inappropriate content on Justin.tv. We rely on the community to flag videos that they feel are objectionable. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed and quickly removed from the system if it violates our Terms of Use.


A creepy response in its own legalistic way.

Let's try not to be vultures here, eh?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:38 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Agreed with Burhanistan. Let's stay away from getting lolz out of this. It's really a disturbing commentary on how people treat each other online.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 7:41 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


What ColdChef said. People have emotional issues and some of them go to extermes and off themselves or those around them. The intertubes make everyone a broadcaster now. Suprised this isn't either more common, or maybe it hasn't warranted a FPP.
posted by cavalier at 7:43 AM on November 21, 2008


What's more surprising is that it wasn't until 10 hours after he expressed his intentions and laid down in his bed that the cops arrived. As he lay dying people watched and made jokes and not one person took action. After 9 hours, 9 fuckin' hours, someone finally decides it may not be a hoax. Jesus. By then it was obviously too late to save him, and didn't matter if the cops took it seriously immediately or waited an hour before they kicked in his door. Ahh. This is terrible. I hope everyone who saw his OD thread on bodybuilding.com and commented--60 freakin' pages worth of comments--feels remorse for years to come--how can you do nothing but make jokes?--but I fear that this isn't likely to happen. Oh internet, I hate what you have done to us.
posted by trueluk at 7:43 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


On or offline people can be cruel, hateful and uncaring. The only difference, is that online, cowards have more courage to be the disgusting human beings they are due to the supposed "anonymity" they feel they have. Otherwise, there is no difference in the potential for appalling behaviour off or on the internet. My heart goes out to this young man and his family.
posted by scarello at 7:44 AM on November 21, 2008


maybe he liked being a troll, idk, but it still seems awful that no one seemed to care enough that he was going beyond that.

To judge from the picture that accompanies the article in the first link, it appears that he had a wife/girlfriend and a child. Presuming that presumption is accurate, I imagine there were people who cared about him, and I don't know why he spent his time doing drugs and trolling a bodybuilding site instead of, I don't know, spending time with them. I'm not saying this isn't a sad story; I just don't think it's sad for the reason you seem to think.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:47 AM on November 21, 2008


.
posted by limeonaire at 7:48 AM on November 21, 2008


Best of the Web
posted by RussHy at 7:52 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


What's more surprising is that it wasn't until 10 hours after he expressed his intentions and laid down in his bed that the cops arrived. As he lay dying people watched and made jokes and not one person took action. After 9 hours, 9 fuckin' hours, someone finally decides it may not be a hoax.

Well, they noted he wasn't visibly breathing, but figured it could've been a still instead of the cam's feed. Years ago, people ignored a woman who was dying on her front doorstep - this isn't a new thing to humanity.
posted by giraffe at 7:55 AM on November 21, 2008


It's really a disturbing commentary on how people treat each other online.

It's not really about being online. See this recent example from Derby in the UK.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:56 AM on November 21, 2008


Terrible. How very tragic.
posted by sveskemus at 7:56 AM on November 21, 2008


It's almost six years since the antecedent Brandon "ripper" Vedas incident. The memorial/informational site that Matt posted a couple weeks later is still, it's nice to see, up and running.
posted by cortex at 7:58 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


So in America do cops normally respond to potential suicides by drawing their guns?

If the kid hadn't been dead and had startled them he probably would have ended up dead anyway.
posted by srboisvert at 8:01 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


In America, cops respond to EVERYTHING by drawing their guns.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:04 AM on November 21, 2008 [14 favorites]


Well I, for one, can't bring myself to look at any of this. I see enough sad, sick things daily. As much as one might feel people online should have done something more or at least shouldn't have been nasty about it, I don't really blame people. There's enough BS on the internet that I'm not surprised people don't react appropriately. In real life people often don't take threats seriously and don't alert authorities even when they do. I've heard a mother respond to her daughter's suicidal threat with "Go ahead then, it'll make my life easier." So I'm not shocked that a random internet stranger wouldn't respond with more compassion. Suicide is one of those things that make people extremely uncomfortable and we often don't know how to react. Making jokes is one possible coping strategy.
posted by threeturtles at 8:05 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I'd like to think that I am not devoid of the milk of human kindness, but given that this is someone who assiduously alienated the people that he committed suicide in front of, I have a real hard time paying lip service to the "sadness" or "tragedy" of this. stbalbach called it correctly.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:05 AM on November 21, 2008


Oh internet, I hate what you have done to us.

This isn't an internet problem, it's a mental health problem a people who are uncaring dicks problem. Plenty of depressed kids had been mercilessly teased and harassed before committing suicide, and plenty of immature kids have secretly laughed about it afterward. The main difference is that much more of the ugliness of the world is now online and accessible for everyone to see.

The flipside of this is that a lot of what makes the world great is on the internet too. Troubled kids can just as easily find supportive people online who can help them through difficult situations. Incidents like these show that online communities are still real communities, and how you act online does have real impacts on real people. If you actively work to be positive online and help people, you're helping to make the world in general a slightly better place.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:06 AM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Halloween Jack: Really??? Did you read the kid's suicide note?

The hate that rages within me, rages not for those I love so dearly or
those who have crossed my path.
This hate rages full force towards me and only me.


I don't understand how a person could lack at least sympathy, if not empathy for this poor kid.
posted by nosila at 8:08 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


I imagine there were people who cared about him, and I don't know why he spent his time doing drugs and trolling a bodybuilding site instead of, I don't know, spending time with them.

People who suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, often think and do things that are out of character or don't make much sense. It's one of the many crippling aspects of that illness and many other mental afflictions. Unless you are in the shoes of someone who has a mental illness, it will always be difficult to understand the turmoil that is happening inside or the decisions they choose to make. This is probably one of the top reasons that so many get swept under the carpet until it's too late, as seems to be the case here.
posted by scarello at 8:09 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


So in America do cops normally respond to potential suicides by drawing their guns?

Going in to a potential suicide is a scary thing for cops. It possible the person has a gun pointed at themselves and will threaten to shoot any cops that interrupt them and sometimes do. This is also how people commit suicide-by-cop. When someone is so beside themselves that they feel they have nothing left to lose, that is automatically a dangerous person. I don't blame the cops at all for pulling guns.
posted by threeturtles at 8:10 AM on November 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


Selfish little idiot.

Fuck, even in death, this kid is being tormented.

There are resources out there for people who are contemplating suicide. It's a shame that the stigma of asking for a helping hand prevents people from taking advantage of it. If anything, this guy wasn't selfish enough.
posted by turaho at 8:19 AM on November 21, 2008 [16 favorites]


Fuck, even in death, this kid is being tormented.

The article said he wasn't being 'cyberbullied' and that he didn't blame others for his suicide. He hated himself, which is sad, but it's not other people's fault.
posted by delmoi at 8:25 AM on November 21, 2008


Too bad he didn't try this over on askme instead. The post would have been deleted, he wouldn't have gotten the reaction he was looking for, and he'd probably still be alive. Too bad someone didn't just just his feed down.

Not sure how much I want to read this stuff.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:26 AM on November 21, 2008


The article said he wasn't being 'cyberbullied' and that he didn't blame others for his suicide. He hated himself, which is sad, but it's not other people's fault.

So it was ok for people to egg him on and say cruel things as he died on camera? Glad you can erase the responsibility of other people so easily. I am also sure that you and whomever wrote that article know zero about him as a person or what was happening in his personal life.
posted by scarello at 8:29 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suspect part of the issue is internet pranking and viral advertising -- that it's impossible to believe that a lot of what you see online is real nowadays (I know that when I see "fail" videos, I discount about half of them as viral ads). And many of these ads pretend to be actual videos of Rotten.com-style content. If people thought they were watching a hoax, I can understand their mocking reactions, although they seem horrifically insensitive.

But I also know there were certainly some people who suspected this was real, and egged him on, and mocked his death. There are people right now on the Wired link using this kid's death for sport. They do so without an ounce of compassion, despite the fact that the kid's note reads like a greatest hits of the tropes of chronic, untreated depression, which kills more people per year that war does. I find it incomprehensible. A mentally ill young man, who has obviously been living under a brutal cloud of depression for years -- a cloud that makes his future seems dismal and unlivable, and strips his sense of self-worth away to such an extent that he does not feel worthy of love and assumes he is a disappointment to everybody in life -- takes his life and people think it's an opportunity for a joke.

This is what tragedy looks like. If you're mistaking it for comedy, you've made a hideous error of judgment.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:33 AM on November 21, 2008 [27 favorites]


MetaFilter: online, cowards have more courage to be the disgusting human beings they are
posted by mazola at 8:41 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by mazola at 8:41 AM on November 21, 2008


So in America do cops normally respond to potential suicides by drawing their guns?

Drawing guns is a very appropriate response to this. Given the circumstances (drugs, suicide attempt), there is a reasonable concern that this individual may still be alive. The police have no idea if this man has a gun (and the way his body is positioned, he could easily roll over and take a shot before the officer could react).

Police officers have been killed going to stranger calls than this.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:45 AM on November 21, 2008


The saddest part about this post is the OP was able to include a "previously." link. It will be an even sadder day when an event like this isn't even FPP worthy.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:46 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ugh, I meant to say: there is a reasonable concern that this individual may still be alive and pose a danger to the officers.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:46 AM on November 21, 2008


When I saw this, I thought someone had stumbled on the older story. (Sometimes Digg or Reddit find some old news story for a bunch of years ago and they suddenly becomes hot again.) It was sad when I realized it was in fact a brand new suicide broadcast live to 14 year old troll kids.
posted by chunking express at 8:51 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is the future. I don't want to seem cruel, but get used to it. There's going to be tons of
other events like this played over the net and streamed live. We've read and seen movies about televised executions. This is it, folks. Everything is at your fingertips, from a woman giving birth to a kid taking his own life. You don't have to watch.
posted by doctorschlock at 8:53 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


George Carlin talked about how there would be a fanbase for an all-suicide tv channel.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:57 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think Astro Zombie has already said it much better than I can, but I read the suicide note and wanted to say that this is absolutely tragic. This guy was incredibly depressed and ended up taking his own life because of that. It seems that he may have lashed out when he thought he was reaching out, which did not help his situation. I don't believe, however, that his poor choices give reason to mock or deride him.

Reading the chat log, etc is pretty horrifying.

chunking express: I hope you didn't think I was implying that you were trying to make a "lifecasting" joke. That was not my intention. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to mention the potential for "lifecasting" jokes, nor how tasteless they would be.
posted by owtytrof at 9:01 AM on November 21, 2008


So in America do cops normally respond to potential suicides by drawing their guns?

If the suicide threat is called in by the county behavioral health department as part of an intervention based around an involuntary commitment to a mental health facility there is a chance (at least in Philly) that the responding officers will be part of the unit trained in mental health response and will have a greater understanding about how these situations work. Also, they will be appraised prior to arrival regarding whether or not the person in question has a weapon or is acting violent. If it's just a 911 call the cops will presume there is a weapon involved, which they do for their own safety, and may have little to no understanding of mental health intervention. Every cop's number one priority on the job is going home alive at the end of their shift, I honestly don't think that's terribly unreasonable.

I've been involved in a few involuntaries and have seen the entire range of competence and empathy. I have seen cops trying to further agitate psychotic clients, presumably with the intent of eliciting behavior that will justify the use of force. I have also seen cops be so delicate and kindhearted with clearly distressed and suicidal clients that it made me want to weep. This is how it goes with cops, your mileage can vary wildly on a case-by-case basis, which is why I personally only judge individual cops based on my interactions with them.
posted by The Straightener at 9:05 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


owtytrof nope, no misunderstanding. I thought it was a bit silly for mashable to mention it in their title.
posted by chunking express at 9:07 AM on November 21, 2008


When the reaction to a guy killing himself right before your eyes is OMG LOL WTF, there's a problem.

To be fair and put that screen capture into context, the people are reacting to the appearance of the police officer/paramedic on the screen, and not necessarily of the death itself.
posted by furtive at 9:12 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by lunit at 9:12 AM on November 21, 2008


This is what tragedy looks like. If you're mistaking it for comedy, you've made a hideous error of judgment.

Not to step in your self righteousness or anything, but humor is one of the primary ways that humans deal with tragedy.

Perhaps you shouldn't reserve your compassion for the dead.
posted by tkolar at 9:16 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking about the people who encouraged the suicide, and the ones who mock it afterwards...

I may be in the minority, but I think the the Internet can be a breeding ground for the morally bankrupt. Granted, these people would exist, and have existed before, without the Internet; but, the Internet gives them a place to easily congregate and reaffirm their own antisocial value systems, free from the reprimand of most decent folks.

The Internet is like a grand masquerade. We can conceal our identities, assume avatars, and indulge in perfidious behaviors within our new roles. Everyone wants the approval of their equally nameless and faceless citizens of the new society that the Internet has given rise to. That's why terms such as FAIL and WIN have become colloquial, and so many sites have embedded voting systems for not only the content, but the commentary of that content. It's like the social stock market. Everyone wants a piece of that popularity pie that would otherwise have no value without artificially inflating its importance. Now, almost every kid goes through a phase like this. I think the technical term for it is high school. But it's hard to mature out of this psychological stage when you have can easily go online and find a forum of thousands of people acting just like you, and validating your actions, despite being twice your age.

That's because on-line it's not us acting out these limbic desires, it's our persona. Movies like Eyes Wide Shut and Fight Club show us how savage people can become under the guise of anonymity. The Standford Prison Experiment, the Milgram Experiments, or the Sylvia Likens story (to name a few) prove that our assumed roles often take precedence over any sympathy or logic when governing our actions. It's usually when you are acting as someone else do you reveal who you really are.
posted by aftermarketradio at 9:18 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


the people are reacting to the appearance of the police officer/paramedic on the screen, and not necessarily of the death itself.

True. I'm not in the mood to read the 8-hour-plus chatlog while the guy was passed out, but I hear it's not much better.
posted by naju at 9:19 AM on November 21, 2008


We've read and seen movies about televised executions. This is it, folks.

Respectfully, no its not, though those are taking place as well. Strangely just last night I was thinking of Budd Dwyer and the psychotic guy who shot himself whilst watching Bjork. I believe there was a woman broadcaster who may have predated Dwyer. Some people, it seems, will go out spectacularly.

The video of the police entry took one minute and ten seconds, not just ten seconds. I took the additional time to reflect that the guy was dead and not coming back and what a sad way it was to be found and how unfortunate it must have been to be the police officer whose day had been worsened considerably by one person's act.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:23 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The lack of empathy in the kid's site and here is, I think, what gets to me. Can't say I'm surprised: severe depression and self-loathing is something not everyone understands, or has internalized.

I read the guy's letter, and you know, it wasn't that many months ago that I could have written a similar letter. Thankfully, I forced myself to remember every day that I'd felt like that before and that someday I'd pull through, and to also remember my sister, and mom and dad who would be left devastated if I attempted to hurt myself.

What I wanted to share was that I did express these feelings of despair and basically just not-wanting-to-live to a few of those close to me; not everyone understood. Some expressed the very same view: dude, just don't feel like that anymore, it's selfish of you to want to just disappear. And try as I might, some just didn't understand that it wasn't my choice to feel that way. They actually blamed me for being depressed.

So I came to the conclusion that basically, there are two types of people in this regard: those who have experienced suicidal depression and therefore "get it", and those who've only read and/or heard about it, and thus haven't internalized what it means. So it's not surprising to find that some people just aren't able to relate, and continue to place the blame on the victim.
posted by papafrita at 9:24 AM on November 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


This is why you don't troll. I'm looking at you, mpdsea.
posted by tehloki at 9:30 AM on November 21, 2008


Great. Another Internet suicide. Another excuse to paint anyone who uses the Internet for anything but work and occasional emails to their grandkids as dangerous socio/psychopaths. In a day or two, after it makes the TV newsmagazines, my mother will be asking me if I heard about the kid who threatened to kill himself on his webcam while people in the chat channel said "GO ON DO IT PUSSY COME ON AND DIE" and then he killed himself and then they replied "YEAH HOORAY HE'S DEAD LOLZZZZ". When in fact the story seems to be that a seriously mentally ill 19-year old man threatened to kill himself on his webcam, then did it, and a considerable number of people tried to alert his local police, who proceeded to ignore said people until about 9 hours later at which point the guy was long dead.

Compare to the Brandon Vedas story, where people STILL repeat (even on his memorial site) that people in the IRC channel "cheered him on", when in fact anyone who read the fucking log could see that they basically told him "dude don't take that much, you might die", then after they didn't hear from him for a while, tried to get his phone number from his website domain registration and contact his local police. The "ripper is a gangster!", etc. stuff was all from a chatbot that was programmed to respond that way to the mention of any registered nick in that channel, e.g. "DecemberBoy is a gangster!" if someone mentioned my handle.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:34 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's different from Brandon Vedas, I think - as far as I'm aware Vedas was just too dumb to look up the safe doses for his recreational drugs, not intending to kill himself. There were people, in fact, telling him in the chat room that he had eaten lethal doses but he just went on being hardcore. Funnier, because it's a bigger failure, but also sadder, since the guy in this case did have the goal of killing himself.

More similar is when better-known troll Klerck offed himself.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2008


Why is this FPP-worthy?
posted by paisley at 9:38 AM on November 21, 2008


As I understand it, He had threatened to "kill himself" before. Most of the people on the forum probably thought he was just a dumbass who was passed out from taking too much prescription meds. Does any of us know the number of fake suicides staged on the internet each day just to get a rise out of people? I would be willing to bet it is a number larger than 0
posted by Megafly at 9:38 AM on November 21, 2008


In a tragic story from NewTeeVee, we learn that a 19-year-old user of the online live-streaming video service Justin.TV has apparently committed suicide in front of an audience of fellow forum dwellers egging him on during the process.

This is like something out of Philip K Dick, circa 1968.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:42 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've never actually read a definition of the phrase passive agressive but I'm pretty sure it describes this guy's suicide perfectly. He set up a situation where people were angry at him, were likely to believe that he was faking his attempt, and then he pushed the weight of his suicide onto them. I'm sad that he's dead but he chose an incredibly selfish way to take his own life.
posted by rdr at 9:50 AM on November 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


Deathcaster.
posted by chlorus at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2008


Ugh, that whole 'suicide is selfish' crap is just never going to die. I guess it is echoed as some kind of preemptive shame for others who might consider it, but when one's image of self is so distorted that it acts toward its own destruction, the concept of selfishness is meaningless. It seems as effective as telling a rapist that it is impolite to break into a woman's house.
posted by troybob at 10:03 AM on November 21, 2008 [10 favorites]


.
posted by aliceinreality at 10:07 AM on November 21, 2008


He probably just fainted.
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on November 21, 2008


How is this suicide any more "tragic" than the other 35,000 that happen every year? There were plenty of people on the thread who tried to take action in the face of others who, with some cause, thought it might be trolling. The cops, as usual, were suspicious of a potential prank call. Not much to anguish about here [beyond the death of one depressed person out of the aforementioned 35,000/year].
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


One makes a habit out of causing trouble for others, either online or in real life, and you expect the very same victims of his to take what he says seriously? I can think of one or two bullies I've come across that I wouldn't care if I heard they'd OD'd on something. And I damn sure wouldn't shed a single tear.

Yeah, any death by suicide is unfortunate, but I'll feel empathy for the suicide of a person who spent their lives being a victim and not a perpetrator.

Trolls, bullies, and abusers of all types make the people around them die, little by little, every day. Yeah, I'm projecting my personal experience on someone who I haven't the faintest knowledge of, but if he's anything like the people I've come across, good riddance.
posted by chimaera at 10:16 AM on November 21, 2008


...he chose an incredibly selfish way to take his own life.

Your comment seems like piling on after the fact. Suicide is a selfish act. When you get to the point where you really can't take another day your mind contracts. You lose the ability to see options. All you know is that you have to end the pain. If you are lucky you will never understand his action. But if you ever need to interact with someone in that level of suffering, I hope you can at least fake compassion until he gets the help he needs. Otherwise you are no different than the chat room members who laughed while he died.
posted by RussHy at 10:17 AM on November 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


paisley, you ever hear of metatalk? or mefimail? or flagging? Welcome to the future. We don't have to gripe in threads anymore. I posted this because a dude killed himself live on a web site while people stood by and watched. That shit is crazy, and probably not what justin.tv is going for.
posted by chunking express at 10:18 AM on November 21, 2008


Another excuse to paint anyone who uses the Internet for anything but work and occasional emails to their grandkids as dangerous socio/psychopaths.

Perhaps it would help if people stopped saying "The Internet" and started saying "chatrooms." A very small part of the interent is for chatroom traffic, the same way your town probably only has a few criminals. I would go far as to call this teen or drug culture. I wouldnt be surprised if most of the people in that chatroom were under 20.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:25 AM on November 21, 2008


...I'll feel empathy for the suicide of a person who spent their lives being a victim and not a perpetrator.

I was under the impression that most perpetrators perpetrate because they are/were victims. Maybe that's just one of those things that sounds true because we love the elegance of the counterintuitive even when it is bullshit (e.g. 'suicide is selfish', 'life begins at 40').
posted by troybob at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2008


Trolls, bullies, and abusers of all types make the people around them die, little by little, every day.

LOLZ ARE U FOR REALZ? Dude, seriously, if anything an Internet troll does affects your real life in any way, to say nothing of "make [you] die, little by little", then you need to step away from the keyboard for a while, grow a thicker skin, and maybe stick to strictly moderated forums. Are you seriously saying that, say, MPDSEA (who is admittedly a low-caliber troll, but just for example) "make[s] the people around [him] die, little by little"? Personally, my reaction is limited to amusement. In fact, in many cases trolls of the non-"ur all a bunch of fagitz" variety are very clever and a lot of fun for people who recognize them as trolls and can watch the reactions of the less clueful.

Anyway, the "troll" in its original sense is pretty much extinct. In days of USENET lore, a troll could start a 300-post month-long argument with a single post, and never have to participate in the thread again after that. Nobody trolls like that anymore, mostly it's just 4chan kids crapflooding poorly spelled sexual slurs.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Also, I wouldnt be surprised if the web has helped more suicidal people than its hurt. There's no shortage of resources for this distressed and its trivial to find a phone number for a suicide help line.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:29 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


If all the guy wanted to do was end his pain he wouldn't have chosen to commit suicide the way he did. He chose to make his death a spectacle. He chose a venue where he knew that people were likely to act like uncaring assholes. I wasn't saying that his suicide was a selfish act. I was saying that the way he involved others in his suicide was selfish.
posted by rdr at 10:32 AM on November 21, 2008


I don't understand how a person could lack at least sympathy, if not empathy for this poor kid.

To be fair, and as the commenters in the mashable link note, his suicide note was copied from other sources. The quote you pulled apparently came from here.
posted by padraigin at 10:36 AM on November 21, 2008


ColdChef : It's really surprising that this doesn't happen more often.

I think that going forward, it probably will be more common. I suspect that a lot of people (particularly kids) today take the ubiquitousness of online resources like youtube to be an ideal way of getting their message out there. If someone were thinking of suicide, I could easily see them using one of these common tools as a sort of addition to a note.

I mean, from their perspective, they are still completely alone in the room, and the camera isn't going to do anything other than record their final moments (a point which, when deeply depressed could seem like a good thing.)

I'll be extremely happy to be proved wrong on this, but I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot more online last moments.
posted by quin at 10:38 AM on November 21, 2008


DecemberBoy, I find your attitude about trolls frustrating. I'm sure that's the attitude this guy had, too, and it's certainly an attitude I've seen others, on Metafilter and elsewhere, express--hey, it's all just fun and games, I mean, it's not like there are real people on the internet, right? I mean, I can call you names and give you grief, but it's all just a big joke, right? I bet you think the whole dhoyt thing was funny, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:42 AM on November 21, 2008


Perhaps it would help if people stopped saying "The Internet" and started saying "chatrooms." A very small part of the interent is for chatroom traffic, the same way your town probably only has a few criminals. I would go far as to call this teen or drug culture. I wouldnt be surprised if most of the people in that chatroom were under 20.

The people in the screenshot saying "OMG LOL" as the cop comes in and finds the dead body are teenage 4chan types, I guarantee it. Besides being young and not fully understanding the permanence of death, they are really just affecting a persona cultivated through being ultra-connected for their entire lives. They live in a fake world where everything is about "the lulz", and have never been alive during a time when something like committing suicide on a webcam wasn't possible. It's a peculiar combination of Internet addiction and common teenage solipsism that I'm not well-versed enough in sociology to fully, accurately describe, but suffice to say that they don't perceive reality like you and me, but they'll probably grow out of it. Of course, the trash-media will paint them as sociopathic monsters who got off on the whole thing and make this into a modern-day Kitty Genovese story with a sick voyeuristic twist, but then that's what they do. You've gotta have a demon to distract people from shit that actually matters, and that bad 'ol series of tubes is a perfect one for technophobic baby-boomers. MySpace-as-dating-service-for-pedophiles was getting a little rusty anyway.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:46 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


How is this suicide any more "tragic" than the other 35,000 that happen every year?

Well, one aspect is that most suicides don't happen in situations where people see it and could possibly help but don't end up being able to prevent it.

But really, how tragic does a suicide have to be? The title of the post isn't Most Tragic Suicide Ever, it's just a story about a depressed kid who killed himself on live streaming video. Suicide is never a positive thing for anyone in these kinds of situations, and depression is treatable. In my opinion, when hearing about something like this it's appropriate to A) be sad that things like this happen and B) remember that suicide threats are serious business.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:48 AM on November 21, 2008


Not to step in your self righteousness or anything, but humor is one of the primary ways that humans deal with tragedy.

Oh, I have sympathy for gallows humor, or humor that is used to diffuse pain. But that's not what we're discussing. We're discussing bullying comedy made at the expense of someone in pain. If you can't tell the difference, I would suggest steering clear of making jokes at times of crisis or tragedy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, DecemberBoy, I'm FOR REALZ. You see, if you're unable to draw a connection between persistent griefers and the kids at Acton High who drove Jeremiah Laseter to suicide in the school bathroom, I don't know what to tell you.

Sorry about whatshisname on Justin.TV who so persistently stirred shit with other people that it took hours for them to believe he might be serious, but I just spent all my empathy points on someone who really deserves them: Jeremiah.

And if those kids who dropped chili down his pants and over his head or those teachers and administrators who pretended nothing was wrong turn up bloated and blue no the side of a river, good riddance to them, too. FOR REALZ, YO.
posted by chimaera at 10:53 AM on November 21, 2008


I wish I could say something profound and reassuring. Something human. Something about tragedy.
I’m at a loss for words though.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:53 AM on November 21, 2008


I don't know, chimeara, I'd like to think that major assholes are broken people who are so broken, the only way they've figured out how to deal is by being major assholes. Does that excuse them of being mean and doing bad things that hurt people? Hells no. But it doesn't make it right for someone else to ignore or mock not just expressed psychological pain, but physical injury. Even from an asshole.

What makes this different from Kitty Genovese is that in this case, it seems as if people were able to witness the entire stream of events. And not only did nothing, but talked each other out of doing something.

What are they worried about? Really? False alarm vs. dead body. And all those other times he threatened but didn't do it? Opportunities for him to have gotten help without a ring of charcoal around his mouth, that is if he'd been taken seriously this time. He wasn't crying wolf, he was crying for help.

Full disclosure: I work in suicide prevention. People around work today are taking it hard. Me included. If someone's threatening suicide, then call/email/im someone. seriously. If it turns out to be a false alarm or a hoax, you can blame me for telling you to reach out.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 10:53 AM on November 21, 2008 [10 favorites]


If it turns out to be a false alarm or a hoax, you can blame me for telling you to reach out.

Tell them Sweet defenestration sent you!
posted by troybob at 10:59 AM on November 21, 2008


I mean, I can call you names and give you grief, but it's all just a big joke, right?

That's not really trolling, though, especially if you were targeting me specifically. That's just being a garden variety dick. Trolling is when you go to a particular forum and post messages tailored for the average users of that forum and directed at everyone designed to elicit angry responses, like (not a very clever example, but) if someone came on here and pretended to be a Stormfront supporter. You can then go on to argue with individual people, but it always relates to the character you're playing. The word "trolling" comes from fishing, defined by Wikipedia as "a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water behind a moving boat". You throw out your wacky, fake inflammatory opinions as "bait" and try to "catch" the "fish". As I mentioned before. in earlier times master trolls could start huge arguments with a single message and never participate after that.

I bet you think the whole dhoyt thing was funny, too.

That was kind of before my time, but from what I understand that guy hacked a bunch of accounts and used them as his sock puppets, which is less trolling and more, like, illegal. I don't know, I'd have to see the kind of stuff he posted.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:59 AM on November 21, 2008


Anyone who has ever dealt with someone who is suffering severe chronic depression knows their behavior can be maddeningly self-defeating. They simulataneously crave company and act in ways that guarantee people won't want to spend much time with them. They often want sympathy but behave unsympathetically. They threaten drastic things and never do them -- until they do.

Your comlaints about this boy, chimaera, are understandable, but if he was suffering from persistent and untreated depression, which his behavior is consistent with, then much of his behavior was motivated by mental illness. And I am capable of having sympathy for that, although I understand why others can find the behavior terribly alienating.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:01 AM on November 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


I get where you're coming from, Sweetdefenestration, and have not the slightest quarrel with what you said.

As you can tell, my objectivity is clouded on this issue, but I can't help but think that if more assholes would off themselves, maybe more Jeremiahs would still be around.
posted by chimaera at 11:06 AM on November 21, 2008


I can't help but think that if more assholes would off themselves, maybe more Jeremiahs would still be around.

More suicides is not a good way to prevent suicides. There are valid ways to prevent bullying that don't involve anyone killing themselves.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:12 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You see, if you're unable to draw a connection between persistent griefers and the kids at Acton High who drove Jeremiah Laseter to suicide in the school bathroom, I don't know what to tell you.

I think we're talking about two different things here. You're talking about real-life harassment, I'm talking about Internet trolling, which something like pretending to commit suicide on your webcam or saying "all bodybuilders have backne and bitch-tits" on a bodybuilding forum would not be very clever or funny examples of, but would fall under nonetheless.

On the other hand, if you're participating in a forum where someone specifically targets you and responds to everything you post with "(your handle) fucks goats!", and the forum is unmoderated to the point where that's allowed to occur, you can always make the choice to not participate in that forum. Harassment at school or in the workplace is a lot harder to deal with, to say nothing of the fact that no one can punch you in the face over the Internet (although we've all wished for that capability at one time or another).
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:18 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


And it's hard to gauge how many assholes are surviving Jeremiahs. We like to think that suffering builds character, but it might often build a villain. I'm thinking Mr. Glass in Unbreakable here.
posted by troybob at 11:19 AM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Try this Kity Genovese link instead of the Wiki version. Things are not always as they seem.
posted by fixedgear at 11:28 AM on November 21, 2008


Agreed, fixedgear. The publicized version of the Kitty Genovese story the Times gave isn't quite accurate. Which is why I pointed out how this case is different -- people could bear witness to the entire event. But the Bystander effect has been researched extensively thanks to her case, and did it did lead to NYPD reform.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 11:33 AM on November 21, 2008


So tired of hearing about these.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:38 AM on November 21, 2008


Trolls, bullies, and abusers of all types make the people around them die, little by little, every day.

LOLZ ARE U FOR REALZ? Dude, seriously, if anything an Internet troll does affects your real life in any way, to say nothing of "make [you] die, little by little", then you need to step away from the keyboard for a while, grow a thicker skin, and maybe stick to strictly moderated forums.


And herein we see the justification for being a dick on the 'net. "Hey, if my behaviour is appalling, it's your problem, not mine!"

Seriously, this is exactly the justification I've seen in multiple forums from the people who egg on suicides.
posted by rodgerd at 12:04 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


dhoyt didn't hack anything--he took out a series of sockpuppets and maintained them as separate personas as some sort of "anarchic experiment" for the joy of "provocation" and "to watch the weirdness which ensued." If that's not a troll, I don't know what is.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:07 PM on November 21, 2008


Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

-Stevie Smith
posted by CeruleanZero at 12:13 PM on November 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


And herein we see the justification for being a dick on the 'net. "Hey, if my behaviour is appalling, it's your problem, not mine!"

Not disagreeing with your point here with regard to suicides etc., but the other side of the coin does exist: there are those who will take offense at even imagined provocation, and if you try to reason with them they'll insist you aren't "sensitive to their plight."

Also, . Didn't know the kid, probably wouldn't have liked him much, but we have more than enough misery on this planet. I wish he wasn't in so much pain that he felt he no other way out.
posted by illiad at 1:02 PM on November 21, 2008


Situations like these amaze me. The hyperreality of our culture is astonishing.

From The Truman Show to (un)Reality TV, to the internet, there has been a severe in our conscious connection to a grounded reality and as such, without stepping away from it all, we're being "rewired" and unintended consequences are resulting. Maybe that's a load of garbage, and the Marxist or social utopian would claim it's existed since the alienation of man from the inhuman rise of industrialization. Perhaps the evolutionary biologist would say those eggers on the forum have difficulty empathizing or identifying themselves outside of their circumstance. It's difficult to empathize with what seems inhuman, and portals from some random webcam to my screen are far from immediate and human, and we're tricked into thinking otherwise all the time. We're inclined to be skeptics from as mentioned above, viral marketing, false advertising, a culture of fallacy or a more contemporary term, truthiness.

Or perhaps it's been a gradation, our disassociation correlating, for example, with this demand for reality television. And this (un)reality tv is as fake as our lives are perceived to be as we, and by we I mean those that live in the current of the mainstream, live out lives, think and behave, like sitcoms or movie scripts, empty, an individuality being reduced to profiles on social networking sites, everything defined, every question already answered. Thought and behaviour conformed to ends determined outside of the self but defined by trends and social norms. I know this isn't anything new, and my rhetoric is vague, but this is something empty language cannot describe, for its more than a feeling or intuiting than anything.

But this suicide, on a bodybuilder forum of all places, symbolizes (to me) something much grander than someone with an alleged "mental illness" and a mob egging him on. He found life to be impossible, for he felt he could never rise to the expectations he imagined that existed, and he pushed the rock up the hill daily, lifting weights relentlessly, to an insatiable, absurd desire. The absurdity of the audience that gawked at the spectacle, at the hyperrealness of someone existing, somewhere across binary code and portals connecting to a camera fixed on a real life moment, is despairing.
posted by ageispolis at 1:06 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


In my opinion, when hearing about something like this it's appropriate to A) be sad that things like this happen and B) remember that suicide threats are serious business.

Yes, but this also illustrates how ambiguous real life is. I suspect if you parsed each of the 35,000 (US) suicides a year, you would find a large proportion of them had clues that the person was going to kill themselves, often including overt assertions that the suicide was intended beforehand. The problem in this and so many other situations is that others have little control over the behavior of the suicide and little ability to infer their true intent. We all (well, most of us, anyway) try, as humans, to help people who are depressed and at risk, but it is an impossible task to prevent each and every one without the draconian step of locking up in observation anyone who ever makes a threat, which, I guarantee you, far exceeds the number who actually carry out their threat.

And why does the fact that this guy do it in view of his online camera make this any more compelling? Well, it certainly brings out the voyeur in us. I'm not sure its indicative of much else, including a need to solicitously concern troll about it. In any group of people, there are some that will continue to pick at someone who is hurting and the rest of us try to help. Not much new here.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:28 PM on November 21, 2008


But this suicide, on a bodybuilder forum of all places, symbolizes (to me) something much grander than someone with an alleged "mental illness" and a mob egging him on.

I'm confused as to why you put mental illness in scare quotes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:36 PM on November 21, 2008


I'm confused as to why you put mental illness in scare quotes.

I'm confused by the whole comment.
posted by fixedgear at 1:44 PM on November 21, 2008



This poor bastard. What fucked up world.

The web has taken Faces of Death (something I am proud to never have viewed) to a whole new twisted level. I have never and will never click on link that depicts real video of anything of this sort. Anybody who indulges in whatching this sort of thing is, in my opinion, a sad sick fuck.
posted by tkchrist at 1:54 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm curious to know what would have actually been done, had his first suicide note been reported to authorities. I definitely think an attempt at helping this person should have been made, but when people are abandoning their children for lack of mental health care, I'm not sure anything would have been done for this guy.
posted by desjardins at 2:03 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I suspect if you parsed each of the 35,000 (US) suicides a year, you would find a large proportion of them had clues that the person was going to kill themselves, often including overt assertions that the suicide was intended beforehand.

I agree. I do think that a large percentage of the population doesn't know the details about depression though, such as the warning signs to look out for and the kinds of resources that are available. I think there are a lot of people who have someone close to them commit suicide, and then learn about depression, and wished they would have done some things differently.

It's true that many people who who threaten to commit suicide never actually do it, but that doesn't mean that they aren't clinically depressed or that they don't have some other undiagnosed mental illness. If you treat every threat as a Big Deal, at best you can save someone's life, and at worst you waste some time trying to help someone out.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:16 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


The thing about that mob is that in there were a few people who were concerned about him. All it would have taken is one person to have reached out while he was still alive. To have called the police or a suicide hotline and to have said they thought this guy was in trouble. That, for me, is issue #1. Not to blame them for not doing it, but to figure out what barriers they felt or had to reaching out. Would an autobot, responding to keywords in posts have made a difference? Some sort of flagging to an external body, so individual Mods aren't overloaded??

Social and public service haven't caught up to this not-so-new technology, and that's a big Issue #2. The internet isn't so anonymous. People were able to track down his telephone number. That number was, luckily, tied to where he lived -- not an out-of-area cell phone. Couple the local information on the guy with the method of the suicide, there was every reason he should have been able to get help. And still the dude in India who borrowed his dad's cell phone and called local authorities wasn't taken seriously at first.

There's a missing link, here, folks. About offering the internet public a vehicle for getting help to people who are at imminent risk of death.

In the meantime, I would fail myself and I would fail you if I didn't offer at least some constructive suggestions for folks. Not that you might not already know this or be able to find out in a hurry if you need to. And on preview, for desjardins.

* In the US, if you call 9-1-1 from your local area, you can ask to be transferred to the 9-1-1 center that the person you're worried about lives. Not every call center or phone worker is informed about this, but you can try.

* If it's not a situation where someone might die right away and you see a post from someone and you're worried for them, it's okay to tell them you're worried. (Captain Obvious here, but really. you can. Suicide Warning Signs, or when in doubt, trust your gut.)

* There are suicide prevention hotlines all over the world. You're allowed to call them yourself and allowed to offer someone that resource. If you call for someone you're concerned about, different places have different ways they may be able to act in those situations (technical term is "third party callers").

They may be able to utilize Mobile Outreach teams, instead of the police, to do an assessment -- no guns, no scary sirens. But if a person is unconscious like this guy was, the safe thing to do (IMHO) is get someone in there who can break every civilian traffic law with lights and sirens to get them to the hospital post haste.

The short list:

Samaritans is the big one in the UK and Ireland: UK 08457 90 90 90, ROI 1850 60 90 90

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States will route your call to an independently-run participating crisis center: 800-273-TALK (special services for Veterans and it offers services in Spanish)

Lifeline Australia has a network of its own crisis centers in every state and territory: 13 11 14

Even if there's not a set system or protocol everywhere yet to address this type of crisis, by reaching out to someone when there is a crisis, not only are you trying to help that person, but you're helping the system learn to respond to this need.
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 2:25 PM on November 21, 2008 [9 favorites]


If you treat every threat as a Big Deal, at best you can save someone's life, and at worst you waste some time trying to help someone out.

Yes, I agree, but this example illustrates why the statement is true but reality makes it very difficult to implement. People joke about killing themselves all the time, with varying degrees of "deadpanness". Now, no one would suggest that if I laughingly say "If I don't get that job tomorrow, I'm going to shoot myself" they should try to have me committed or send me to the shrink. Obviously, if I am uncharacteristically morose and start making wild threats to shoot myself, you would be much more likely to intervene. Most often it's like this here event, where no one was sure if this was theater or real, and by the time they suspected it might be real, it was too late, given all the other people in the chain who needed to take action. I think this is the rule rather than the exception, because people are not simplistic, but very complicated beings and taking ones own life involves a series of decisions not always apparent to others. I can see exactly why no one took action right away here, and I can't say that any amount of education would change that scenario.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2008


I'm confused as to why you put mental illness in scare quotes.

Not to derail, but I tend towards Paul Meehl's thinking:

"[...] my main criticism of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is the
proliferation of taxa when the great majority of clients or patients do
not belong to any taxon but are simply deviates in a hyperspace of
biological, psychological, and social dimensions, arousing clinical
concern because their deviant pattern causes trouble."

- "Clarifications about taxometric method". Applied & Preventive Psychology 8: 166. (1999)

I'm confused by the whole comment.

Yeah, it's awkward and unedited, written in a fury of passion. I think I was aiming for something between Baudrillard's cultural theory and The Myth of Sisyphus.
posted by ageispolis at 3:18 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe there was a woman broadcaster who may have predated Dwyer.

Yes, that was Christine Chubbuck. A very tragic story.
posted by Snyder at 3:43 PM on November 21, 2008


I can see exactly why no one took action right away here

I don't blame anyone there, but personally I think it's crazy that people saw that video and just laughed it off until one person noticed he wasn't breathing six hours later. To me, a specific suicide threat, like "I have such and such pills and I'm going to OD on them tonight" is like calling in a bomb threat to a school, in that everyone should error on the side of assuming it is real rather than doing nothing because it might be fake. The mods around here take the issue of suicide seriously, and I'm relatively certain it would have taken us a lot less time than six hours to have the cops busting down the kid's door if it would have happened here.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:48 PM on November 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was thinking of Budd Dwyer ...

Reminds of a bad joke that was created about 10 seconds after the man capped himself.

Q. What's the difference between Budd Dwyer and Bud Light?

A. Bud Light has a head on it.
posted by bwg at 4:09 PM on November 21, 2008


.
posted by woebot at 5:47 PM on November 21, 2008


Times Online article on the death. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was on medication.
posted by desjardins at 5:49 PM on November 21, 2008


everyone should error on the side of assuming it is real rather than doing nothing because it might be fake

And then watch the fun begin as tens of thousands of attention-seeking trolls cause 911 to be flooded with hoax incidents.

About 200 000 people a day die. I find it difficult to really work up any care about this particular death over the other 199 999 I might rather invest my emotional energy in. Indeed, I think I care rather more about the 30 000 children who died today, by causes not of their own doing.

I guess I'm just an asshole. So be it.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on November 21, 2008


This really has nothing to do with bullying. It also has little to do with being actively ignored, note that he took the drugs at 5am. From 5am-12pm, discussion forums don't get much traffic. People were concerned, and action was taken, obviously the major hurdle to which was discovering the real identity of the user.
posted by mek at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2008


I don't buy that, mek. They were able to find his telephone number. Someone called and left a nasty message, as I recall. It's hard now to try to find him and show you how easy it could have been because of all the interweb attention he's gotten and his profile on bb's been pulled. Try looking up someone to see for yourself.

From the mashable link referenced earlier, it seems as if folks started considering calling the cops at 5:30 in the morning. I would assume they'd know some local info about him, searching through old threads or what-have-you and wherever other social networking type sites he cross-linked himself on.

The discussion forum lull between 5am and 12pm, is that across the world? The person who called the cops finally was in India; I wonder if the time zone thing might have played a role, since it was midnight there?
posted by Sweetdefenestration at 7:20 PM on November 21, 2008


Shit's catching on.
posted by gman at 8:39 AM on November 22, 2008


> There's an incredibly tasteless "lifecaster" joke in here somewhere, but I'm not going to dig that deeply.

Isn't the mere act of mentioning it actually putting the joke out there anyway, and thus incurring the tastelessness?
posted by WCityMike at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2008


This is so sad. People are fucked up.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:14 PM on November 22, 2008


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