Fri 21 Nov 2008 08:00
Categories: All Posts , ASShattery
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Police in Pembroke Pines, Florida, are investigating the apparent suicide of a 19-year-old whose death was seen on a live Justin.tv feed, a Broward County dispatcher said.
According to published reports, the teen’s death, broadcast Tuesday evening, was from an overdose. Video watchers called the authorities, who broke into his residence.
About 185 people were viewing the feed on the San Francisco-based live-streaming service. But the teen apparently announced his pending suicide on a bodybuilding chat forum, left a suicide note, and viewers were said to have egged him on.
Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said in an e-mail: "We regret that this has occurred and respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time. We have policies in place to discourage the distribution of distressing content, and our community monitors the site accordingly. This content was flagged by our community, reviewed, and removed according to our terms of service."
Public suicides are common. People jump off buildings and bridges.
Suicides now have veered to another public arena: the internet. A British man suffered the same fate two years ago after being goaded to hang himself while in a webcam chatroom. And the net is also a known area to organize suicide pacts.
Yet internet suicides are different from the old-fashioned public ones. It’s hard to decipher what’s real on the internet. It’s unknown what viewers were thinking when they saw a police officer prodding this Florida teen to see if he was alive. Online viewers’ chat comments at that moment ranged from OMG to LOL.
The comments on this blog, however, tell another story. Most who commented fell in the line with our first commentator, who wrote: "hahaha hahahahha hahahahahah ahhaha." Somebody else wrote: "Instant Darwinism…" and the follow up comment was: "fucking a nicely put." Others called the teen a "coward," "faggot" and a "dick."
Still, this rare anomaly of a comment on our Threat Level blog seemed to sum up an online teen-ager’s suicide:
if this was your child or your brother I’d doubt you’d find this funny at all. Killing yourself leaves a path of destruction behind for you loved ones to cleanup. The internet adds a layer of anonymity that makes people behave irrationally and in most public forums seems to bring out the worst in us because of it. Youtube comments is an example of just how bad we treat each other when you don’t have a real identity attached and therefore no real consequences (in most cases)
Justin.tv is an open network of thousands of live streaming channels. The network, named after Justin Kan, its first star, has been the target of pranksters and hackers.
Soon after Justin.tv launched, viewers played a prank on Kan, calling the cops from his cellphone to report a stabbing. With guns drawn, the authorities broke into Kan’s apartment to the delight of viewers.
Teenager commits suicide live online while 1,500 people watch
Abraham Biggs took a fatal drugs overdose while broadcasting it on video streaming website Justin tv
A teenager committed suicide live on the internet while 1,500 people watched, it was claimed today.
Abraham K Biggs, 19, took a drugs overdose while broadcasting on video streaming website Justin.tv.
According to reports, some viewers even encouraged him to kill himself thinking it was just a threat.
It was only after he had been lying on his bed for several hours that members of the site took his threat seriously and contacted police.
Officers broke down the doors of his home in Broward County, Florida, and found him dead on the bed.
The video was still running when they entered his house.
Mr Biggs had claimed he was going to kill himself in a posting on a chat forum and had also left a suicide note on a second site bodybuilding.com.
He gave explicit details of the amount of drugs he was going to take and in his suicide note revealed he felt like a failure.
‘I am an a@#hole. I have let everyone down and I feel as though I will never change or never improve. I am in love with a girl and I know that I am not good enough for her,’ he wrote.
‘I have come to believe that my life has all been meaningless. I keep trying and I
‘I have thought about and attempted suicide many times in the past.’
The teenager, pictured on his MySpace page, said he felt like a failure
But as he had threatened to commit suicide before and not done so, the site’s moderators apparently did not take the posting seriously and some encouraged him to go through with his threat.
Police said they were investigating a suspected suicide and the death was confirmed by the Broward County medical examiner.
His death echos that of British man Kevin Whitrick, from Shropshire, who also killed himself in front of a webcam while others watched.
Justin.tv is a live video streaming website used by thousands of people.
Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said the company had policies in place to discourage the distribution of distressing content and that the video has since been removed.
Mr Biggs suicide note in full:
To Whom It May Concern,
I am going to leave this for whoever stumbles across my bookmarks later on.
I hate myself and I hate living.
I think that if someone who knows me reads this they will know who I am. So I will leave this unsigned.
I am an a@#hole. I have let everyone down and I feel as though I will never change or never improve.
I am in love with a girl and I know that I am not good enough for her. I have come
to believe that my life has all been meaningless.
I keep trying and I keep failing. I have thought about and attempted suicide many times in the past.
I used to think of my failure as some mystical way of telling me that I was really meant for something meaningful. The only thing I dread, besides the pain, is the way my family will suffer.
I do not want my mother or father to think that it was anything they did that lead me
to kill myself.
I never really had any plans of leaving a note. I thought that I would not be able to describe why I want to do this and I am right.
There is no way to tell you or anyone else why I dread every new day. My father had such high expectations for me and tried to give me every opportunity to improve upon myself. I let him down.
I think that I am a major disappointment to him. I have a job but I’m always broke and I am in college but barely, I show up to class but that’s about it.
I want my life to end. I am tired of f@#$ing up everything. I am tired of people always telling me that they do not like me. I am tired of trying to be decent. I hope that someone finds this post and I hope that my parents know that I f@#$ed up not them.
It is my fault I screwed up my own life. 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 have long forgiven those who’ve hurt me, but I have not and cannot come to terms to forgive myself for the things I have done to myself, and the things I’ve done to hurt those in my life.
You have all touched my life in one way or another, especially those whom I call family.
I cannot tell you how sorry I am for ending my life the way I did. I hope that you can all find it in your heart to see it as way for me not suffering anymore and that I am finally at rest with myself, for being at rest with the guilt that constantly ate at me for so long.
Please forgive me all for taking my own life so early. I tried so hard to fight against this strong battle. I have reached out for help so many times, and yet I believe, I was turned away because of the things I did, that it is a punishment I am willing to take, for I know that being who I am has only brought myself and others pain.
I love you all and will forever live within the memories we created.
Love always and forever,
As for my signature I will leave you with a quote so that if anyone
reads this they will know it’s me, ‘Can’t feel pain if your dead? Just Saying.’