19 year old black Broward college student Abraham Biggs’ committed suicide during a live web feed on Justin.tv on Wednesday while an unspecified number of people watched.
Abraham Biggs’ posted his suicide note in a body building forum at 3 am on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning. The forum moderators and the website ignored his note assuming it was a “prank” and allowed people to egg him on in the chat.
From the time of the note until Biggs lay dying Wednesday afternoon, people logged in to his live feed and egged him on there as well. Some thought it was a joke. Some did not care. Worse, after witnessing his death, several forum users deleted their comments and the moderators posted an “official page” to cover up the 12 hour long taunt session.
The owners of the website did nothing but made money off of the rapidly climbing hits to Bigg’s feed without checking why. They later released a statement saying that they rely on users to alert them to problems and could not have foreseen the tragedy, despite having had 12 hours between the note and Biggs last breath. (Biggs had also left a note about using pills to kill himself on his myspace page 3 days earlier. It was his last message, and also solicited no intervention. His myspace comments and links have all been disabled as well, potentially to cover myspace from liability.)
Finally, at 3 pm Wednesday, hours after viewers watched Biggs downing pills live, the feed ended when police arrived in Pembroke Pines to discover Abraham Biggs lying dead on his father’s bed. An unspecified number of web watchers had called them too late to save Biggs’ life.
This is our culture.
(Biggs is survived by his immigrant parents who came to the U.S. for a better life for themselves and their children, and his sister.)
IF YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, OR ARE MAKING A PLAN, PLEASE DO NOT RELY ON THE INTERNET FOR INTERVENTION. CALL SOMEONE AND LET THEM HELP YOU. SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM, NO MATTER HOW BAD IT FEELS, THINGS WILL CHANGE. The national suicide prevention hotline number is: 1 (800) 273 – talk
If you see a note on a website about suicide, please alert the site and the authorities. Even if the person has no plan and no means, their post is a first attempt at getting attention for an unmet need; failure to get that attention, may be the last justification in moving forward. Better to look stupid than to let someone die.
Source: Yahoo News