Viewers, Web Site Owner Share Blame for Internet Suicide

Viewers, Web Site Owner Share Blame for Internet Suicide

Published November 24, 2008

Posted Nov. 24, 2008 – When Abraham Biggs broadcast his suicide on the Internet, he was among a group of teens seeking notoriety in death, experts say.

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Police found him dead in his father's bed 12 hours after he told an Internet audience of about 1,000 viewers on the bodybuilding Web site justin.tv  he had planned to take his life.

Biggs, 19, who had broadcast his suicide live from a bedroom in his Hollywood , Fla. , home Wednesday, died of a combination of opiates and benzodiazepines, which he was prescribed for bipolar disorder, the medical examiner said.   As he talked of suicide, he took pills and lay down to die.

Some viewers urged him on, then chatted about whether the threat was real. Other viewers contacted the Web site to notify police, authorities say, but they did not arrive in time.

The act was similar to the suicide-pact behavior exhibited by teens in Japan and at the Columbine High School massacre, a sociology professor who studies Internet fraud and social networking sites told USA Today.  All are well planned by people seeking fame.

"It ends with a suicide, but knowing that afterward it will be widely disseminated," said Keith Whitworth, of Texas Christian University . The viewers and the Web site operators share some of the blame for Biggs' death, said his father, Abraham Biggs Sr. "I think they are all equally wrong," he said. "As a human being, you don't watch someone in trouble and sit back and just watch."

Should the website, Justin.tv, be blamed for Biggs online suicide? Click "Discuss Now," on the upper right, to post your comment.

Written by BET-Staff

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