Teen Kills Self on Justin.tv with 185 Witnesses

A teen from Florida, committed suicide on Wednesday while broadcasting himself live on a video site called Justin.tv. Justin.tv is an open network of thousands of live streaming channels. 185 people were viewing the feed. From reports, he was egged on by fellow forum users on a bodybuilding website. Biggs ended up overdosing on pills live. He seemed to be breathing and alive for hours but soon some watchers became worried and contacted the police. The police broke into the complex and took him to the hospital.

Much of the videos of the actual event, pictures, suicide note and forum posts have been taken down, though much of it remains all over the web. For the sake of privacy and respect none of the content or the links will be posted on this blog. We will also withhold from using the teen’s name.

Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said in an email,

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.

The teen’s suicide note, described how he hated himself, felt life was meaningless, how he kept failing and how he has let everyone including his family down. He could forgive others but not himself.

The type of responses given on the bodybuilding forum were extremely insensitive. A sample “You want to kill yourself OP? DO it, do the world a favor and stop wasting our time with your mindless self pity. For fks sake”.

Though such comments might seem excessive and shocking, which is indeed the only proper reaction to such insensitive comments, such language is common place in the online world where people are hidden behind their anonymous profiles. People can assert or say whatever they choose especially in the younger demographic as teens may not know the power and impact one’s word can have on other people. Of course adults are on the same boat as well.

There are many people out there who are going through similar struggles with meaning and self worth. The feelings of failure, loneliness among other things contribute to the alarming number of suicides that occur all over the world. The U.S. had 32,637 suicides in 2005 including 4,212 youth suicides. This up from 30,622 suicides in 2001.

As for those who egged this teen on in the bodybuilding forum, I really hope they do not fall into despair over what part they might have taken, but really take this experience to heart and learn from what had just transpired.

Personally, suicide is a subject that really weighs heavily on my heart. There has been a lot of consideration on what can be done to help with the prevention of these acts. There are a lot of ideas, but foraying into such territory must be done with careful consideration. If you have ideas or ways you’d like to contribute if that day comes, please drop me a line or comment.

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