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Teenager commits suicide on webcam


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#1
DragnFly
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By Sarah Larimer, The Associated Press



MIAMI - The father of a U.S. college student whose suicide was broadcast live over a webcam said Saturday he was appalled by the virtual audience that egged on his son and called for tougher regulation of Internet sites.



Abraham Biggs said those who watched and the website operators share some blame in his 19-year-old son's death.



"I think they are all equally wrong," he said.



"It's a person's life that we're talking about. And as a human being, you don't watch someone in trouble and sit back and just watch."



Police found Abraham Biggs dead in his father's bed Wednesday, 12 hours after he first declared on a website for bodybuilders that he planned to take his own life. He took a fatal drug overdose in front of an Internet audience. Although some viewers contacted the website to notify police, authorities did not reach his house in time.



Biggs, who has said he was at work during the episode, said he had not known about his son's online presence.



"I think after this incident and probably other incidents that have occurred in the past, they all point to some kind of regulation is necessary," Biggs said.



"I think it is wrong to have this happen for hours without any action being taken from the people in charge. Where were they all the time?"



The younger Biggs posted a link from the website to Justin.tv, which allows users to broadcast live with their webcams.



A computer user who claimed to have watched said after swallowing some pills, Biggs went to sleep and appeared to be breathing for a few hours while others cracked jokes. Some users told investigators they did not take him seriously because he had threatened suicide on the site before.



Biggs father said he believes the webcast was a cry for help.



"But rather than get help, he was ignored," Biggs said.



"I would not want to see anything like that on the Internet and not try and get help for that young man. I think that's what the average person would do."



"Any normal person would do. I'm really appalled."



Pembroke Pines Police Department Sgt. Bryan Davis said no new information on the case was available Saturday.



Biggs Sr. said funeral arrangements have not yet been set for his son, who he said loved helping others.



"He was a good kid. Good kid," Biggs Sr. said.



"It's a shame I wasn't there to help him. It's a big loss to me. I wish I was there to help him - since nobody else would."



Miami lawyer William Hill said there is probably nothing that could be done legally to those who watched and did not act. As for whether the website could be held liable, Hill said there doesn't seem to be much of a case for negligence.



"There could conceivably be some liability if they knew this was happening and they had some ability to intervene and didn't take action," said Hill, who does business litigation and has represented a number of Internet-based clients.



But "I think it would be a stretch."



An autopsy concluded Biggs died from a combination of opiates and benzodiazepine, which his family said was prescribed for his bipolar disorder.



"Abe, i still wish this was all a joke," a friend wrote on the teenager's MySpace page.



In a statement, Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said: "We regret that this has occurred and want to respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time."



It is unclear how many people watched it happen. The website would not say how many people were watching the broadcast. The site as a whole had 672,000 unique visitors in October, Nielsen said.



Biggs was not the first person to commit suicide with a webcam rolling. But the drawn-out drama - and the reaction of those watching - was seen as an extreme example of young people's penchant for sharing intimate details about themselves over the Internet.




Source: http://ca.news.yahoo.../webcam_suicide



I found this article lastnight, and I thought it was quite sad.



Not only did a young boy commit suicide, which is horrible enough, but he did it over webcam. Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world? Also, why would anybody want to even watch such a thing? Disgusting.

#2
Jimmyw3000
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I call parenting fail.

#3
BlueLancer
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Hard to know his reasons, going by the bodybuilding forum clue, he might've had body image issues on top of other problems. That's one of the worst reasons to take your life for (if there even are any). A proper person would've motivated him to keep going and perhaps given him reasons why not to take your own life, instead of having some sick thrill by watching a human being take his life on webcam.



Funny thing is.. Nothing matters to ignorant kids, until it hits their families. Be it drought, car accident fatalities, premature death, hurricanes, gas shortages, suicide, parental abuse, alcoholism, poverty... Those things happen to people just like you, normal persons with families and friends who (should) care about them. They're not a collection of random events and statistics.



No, you shouldn't feel guilt if you didn't see it coming and your friend/relative commits suicide. It's not your fault.



But, if you encourage somebody to take their own live, you're just as sick as a murderer. You don't belong to society.

#4
mcneilp
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I read about this.

It's pretty sad he chose to end it like that but at least some good people did contact authorities when they heard what was happening.

It's also pretty sick that people logged on to watch him take his own life but humans have always had a morbid fascination with things like that.
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#5
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I call parenting fail.






Not really..... sure they could have probaly done something, but note that he was bi-polar.... usually means allot more is going on, it's very sad and should not have happened, for once I agree it probaly was a call for help, but am not sure if the 'victim' himself realised that it was......





It's sad but I hope regulations are not brought in about it, it's an incredibly rare ignorance, and feel the world needs to have the freedom without the bureaucracy of legislation. There cant be new restrictions brought in for every event, far worse things are going on it's sad to say!
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#6
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All I have to say is [bleep] the Body building forum

[bleep]ing roid heads.

#7
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Very saddening, obviously we don't know why but it could be any matter of thing, ashamed of his body perhaps which was multiplied by the fact he had bi-polar.



I don't see though how the website is in anyway to blame or liable, if the guy wanted to broadcast him committing suicide he'd find some way of doing it. No need to ruin the website for something their not to blame for.

#8
lonellama
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Dammit, I never get to see any of these stuffs.




Wow screw you kid.
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#9
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mentally unstable dude kills himself. its totally the internet's fault :roll:

#10
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Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention... which is almost worthless when you are dead.

#11
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Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention




And it looks like it worked.
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#12
runescapeloser22
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Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention... which is almost worthless when you are dead.


almost worthless? How about completely worthless.

#13
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Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention... which is almost worthless when you are dead.


almost worthless? How about completely worthless.


Not really...Vincent VanGogh only sold 2 paintings before he died.



But then again, it was only his ear...

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#14
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Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how the audience "egged him on." It seems like he just wanted to broadcast his death and all his audience is guilty of is watching him. And they act like they had a million ways to help him. What could they have done? Called 911? "Hi, there's this guy on the internet who said he took some pills and now he's sleeping. I don't know where he is, but his room's blue. HELP HIM!" :roll:



Also, his father said that he thinks the broadcast was a cry for help. However, it doesn't appear that way seeing as how his son's dead. Those who want to die usually succeed in suicide, but the people who attempt suicide don't want to die, they want help. Personally, I'd like to know how his father tried to help him through his problems, rather than just medicating the hell outta him.

#15
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Dammit, I never get to see any of these stuffs.


You disgust me. It's a sad event that he wanted a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And you want to see him dying?
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#16
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Reminds me of the movie Untraceable a little bit. This is sad. R.I.P :(

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#17
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I highly doubt anybody in the Audience actually thought he was killing himself rather then bs'ing.



Honestly the chances that he was actually doing it seem low.

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#18
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Wow, this is just crazy. I bet most of the viewers thought it was bs, as said before.
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#19
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It's pretty disgusting that someone would want to view someone's webcam with their promise to commit suicide or hurt themselves. Even if it was an obvious joke, I don't think that any decent human being should watch it. This reminds me of the video that showed teenagers throwing a baby across the room and laughing at it when it cried.



The only liability that I can see that the site would have is that they failed to monitor the content on their site and/or failing to do something to prevent the suicide. Even if it is a site that many teenagers take advantage of and joke about committing suicide, it should still be reported to the police.
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#20
stan18
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this forum makes me sick sometimes



Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how the audience "egged him on." It seems like he just wanted to broadcast his death and all his audience is guilty of is watching him. And they act like they had a million ways to help him. What could they have done? Called 911? "Hi, there's this guy on the internet who said he took some pills and now he's sleeping. I don't know where he is, but his room's blue. HELP HIM!" :roll:



Also, his father said that he thinks the broadcast was a cry for help. However, it doesn't appear that way seeing as how his son's dead. Those who want to die usually succeed in suicide, but the people who attempt suicide don't want to die, they want help. Personally, I'd like to know how his father tried to help him through his problems, rather than just medicating the hell outta him.





Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention... which is almost worthless when you are dead.


almost worthless? How about completely worthless.




Why would you ever want to broadcast it for the entire world?




For attention... which is almost worthless when you are dead.




mentally unstable dude kills himself. its totally the internet's fault :roll:




i bet you all feel proud of yourselves right now. who the hell are you to judge the kid's actions? do you think you know what you're talking about, you smug smartasses?



the kid was bipolar. there are only two treatments: drugs for his depressive states, and community support. those who truely want to die will die and it is incredibly difficult to stop them. these people either complete suicide, or attempt suicide and fail, get put in an institution, then complete suicide once they get out. the mere fact that he broadcasted the event meant he wanted someone to try to stop him; his attempting suicide would give him the answer to whether or not anyone valued his life more than he did. the bodybuilding site was his community and he got his answer.



completing suicide is an issue created by society, whether you think so or not. its everybody's problem, the people who watched and even the people who saw it and stopped watching.




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