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November 21, 2008

Internet Video Voyeurism at its Worst … Abraham K. Biggs Commits Suicide on “lifecasting” website as People Just Watch

Posted in: Bizarre,Bloggers,Deceased,Internet,Technology,WTF

Internet Voyeurism … teen commits suicide on onlookers watch. What a way to get attention, notoriety and make your site meter spin.

So you think 24/7 live streaming video on the internet is a good thing. You think that uncensored, unvetted live streaming video is a benefit and has redeeming social qualities? Yesterday in Broward County, FL it was taken to its worse extreme. 19 year old Abraham K. Biggs, who went by the screen names “CandyJunkie” and “Mr Biggs” committed suicide as onlookers watched via live streaming video. Biggs posted suicide note:

Abraham K Biggs

Abraham K. Biggs

Mr Biggs then posted his suicide note, where he said he had hurt other people and hated himself for being 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.”

Above is the note that Biggs had earlier in the day posted that he was going to commit suicide later that night and all were welcome to watch.

A TEENAGER has apparently committed suicide in front of a live webcam after being encouraged by people online.

19-year-old Florida resident Abraham K. Biggs, who went by the screen names “CandyJunkie” and “Mr Biggs”, told users on a bodybuilding forum he would be committing suicide that night and invited them to watch the live video.

The forum moderators allegedly ignored the post – assuming it was a prank – while other users posted insults and even egged him on.

That is correct. People ignored Bigg’s post and actually egged the teen on and made insulting posts as the teen took several pills, laid down on his bed and stopped breathing. What has this world come to? Forum members actually insulted Biggs as he died. Finally as the video rolled live viewers were able to contact local police who broke down Bigg’s door and found the 19 year old dead. According to reports, 1500 people viewed as Biggs committed suicide. Unbelievable.

The 19-year-old lay on his bed and only after several hours of no movement did others begin to take him seriously. With the video still running, forum members managed to contact the local police who eventually broke down the door, found the body and switched off the camera. Up to 1,500 people were viewing the feed, according to one report.

A video clip posted on the net shows a police officer entering the room, his handgun drawn, as he checks for any sign of life. Local police said they were investigating a suspected suicide and the death was confirmed by the Broward County medical examiner.

Mr Biggs was a member of the bodybuilding.com forum under the name CandyJunkie and was known as Feels Like Ecstasy on justin.tv. He apparently had threatened before to commit suicide.

Biggs committed suicide while broadcasting himself on Justin.tv, a live video streaming website. In the end Justin.tv takes no responsibility for providing a communication media that has no checks. They place the responsibility on the users and forum members. How convenient. It is also convenient that many of the hateful comments and posts by forum members have been edited and deleted.

Justin.tv is an open network of thousands of live streaming channels.

It is based in San Francisco and is named after Justin Kan, its first star.

“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,” Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said in an e-mail.

The video feed has been taken down but video clips have been posted elsewhere on the net and copies of the suicide note can also be found.

Many of the forum posts have been deleted by those who made them.

Abraham Biggs, 19, Was Egged On by Fellow Bloggers, Cops Say

“People were egging him on and saying things like ‘go ahead and do it, faggot,’ said Wendy Crane, an investigator at the Broward County Medical Examiner’s office.

UPDATE I: Family Outraged, Distraught Over Florida Teen’s Webcam Suicide

What is the responsibility of a web site and their viewers when it comes to a situation like what happened in the suicide of 19 year old Abraham Biggs?

The family of a college student who killed himself in front of an Internet audience say they’re horrified his life ended before virtual spectators and infuriated that viewers and Web site operators didn’t act sooner to save him.

Only after police arrived to find Abraham Biggs dead in his father’s bed did the webcam feed stop Wednesday — 12 hours after the 19-year-old Broward College student first declared on a Web site that he hated himself and planned to die.

“It didn’t have to be,” said the victim’s sister, Rosalind Bigg. “They got hits, they got viewers, nothing happened for hours.”

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