Suicide Live On Justin.Tv

November 21st, 2008 at 12:00 am
 


justin tv suicide live broadcast

The beauty of the web is it is used for a lot of things.  Communication, sharing, interaction, business, you name it.  Video is one of the most powerful forces ever to hit the web.  As it did when the television was invented, video is taking over the internet with sharing sites like Youtube.  Alongside, live video streaming services are also gaining popularity not only among press releases and official announcements, but also as a blogging tool.

Anyway, the point is, live video streaming basically gives anybody the capacity to broadcast whatever he wants to the entire planet without worrying about censors like TV stations are.   Having said that, anybody now can do anything at all on camera broadcast on the web, including illegal and dangerous and deadly stuff, without anybody to stop them.  A really great example is on the news today.

A 19-year old boy from Florida committed suicide while broadcasting the whole thing live on Justin.TV.  Justin.TV is a free live video streaming service that allows users to both broadcast live and upload videos.  Naturally, Justin.TV users grow into communities and eventually the entire service becomes a tool for those communities to show each other what they are up to.  So was the case of Abraham K. Biggs, a forumer at bodybuilding.com.  He committed suicide by overdosing on some pills with the camera on.  Apparently, he was egged on by his fellow forumers.

So he’s dead, who’s fault is it now?  Since it’s suicide, I guess it’s his.  However, some people may see the use of Justin.TV’s service as an aggravator or peer pressure and press charges against the company or against the forumers who cheered and jeered on while Biggs was overdosing.  Any which way, it’s a difficult question, who’s at fault?

Justin Seibel, CEO of Justin.TV wrote in an email to NewTeeVee, "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."

In my opinion, Justin.TV is not liable, and so are the forumers at bodybuilding.com.  Suicide is an individual’s decision regardless of how provoked or pressured he was.  His choice, his mistake, his life.