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helen-louise
baratron
baratron
Wow.

Apparently, someone on LiveJournal posted a suicide note to her journal, then attempted suicide in front of her webcam. Somehow this made the national news in the USA.

I won't post a link to the diary of the person concerned (most of the really worrying stuff has been made friends-only anyway), and I won't post a link to any of the news sites with the story on because apparently they all got major facts wrong, but wow - that really puts my problems into perspective.

I've been very tired the past couple of days, sleeping for 15 or 16 hours a day. I think the weather doesn't help. Since Saturday it's been grey and drizzly here, whereas before that we had a couple of
weeks of brilliant sunshine. I'm inclined towards something like seasonal affective disorder, where bad weather really affects my mood, so the complete lack of sunshine in the past week hasn't helped me at all. Still, I'm looking forward to the weekend. Barring complete exhaustion, I should be going to the Liquid Lounge tomorrow, and I've got a karaoke party on Saturday. Also, Eddy came round yesterday and he mentioned that Funland has a new game which is like Dancing Stage only with hand movements. I asked if it was Para Para Paradise, but he couldn't remember the name. So we'll definitely have to investigate that.
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Comments
meirion From: meirion Date: 20th July 2001 02:46 (UTC) (Link)

good while it lasted

i have a nasty feeling that this means one or both of the following will happen:

1) livejournal will be investigated and probably shut down.

2) law enforcement people and mental health professionals will be going through all the livejournals they can find and forcibly treating and/or sectioning people.

i might give it a few days/weeks to see what happens (i'd be interested in reading what the news sites are saying, even if the facts are wrong) but i'm seriously considering getting rid of my lj now.

-m-
purplerabbits From: purplerabbits Date: 20th July 2001 04:21 (UTC) (Link)

Re: good while it lasted

I really don't think this is going to happen. In the UK health professionals are not (yet) so paranoid, and in the States, where they are, forcible treatment costs money, so only people whose insurance and/or parents will pay for it are going to get targetted.

What I think may happen is that LJ entries could be used as evidence in committal proceedings, but since they don't *need* much evidence in the UK anyway, it doesn't make stuff any worse than it already is.

And all this is assuming that the relevent authoritiues can find out who you are and have the technical savvy to access the place in the first place...
From: narenek Date: 20th July 2001 04:25 (UTC) (Link)

Re: good while it lasted

I think thats a bit of an overreaction. If livejournal is investigated for it's role in a suicide attempt, it would be seen that it was merely a media used for communication, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the persons attempt. It is widely accepted that a service provider is not responsible for the content that its users create (though it may have a responsibility to remove illegal material once it is brought to their attention). Would a telephone company be closed down because someone made a phone call to a friend saying that they'd just taken a bottle of pills and a bottle of vodka? Americans are proud of their first amendment, it should protect them in this case.

As for people ploughing through LJ looking for people that need "Help" last I heard LJ had somewhere in the region of 250,000 journals. Thats a lot of searching to do to find the people in need (unless they start by looking at people interested in suicide (694 at the time of writing)). Of course you could argue that if someone goes so far to post to their LJ about a suicide attempt then it's their "Cry for help" and they want someone to stop them, in which case you are going to be quite happy if someone reading your LJ rushes over to save your life.

At the end of the day, if you are serious about killing yourself, you don't put it on a webcam for people to see, death is not pretty and you don't want to inflict that on your friends.
elynne From: elynne Date: 26th July 2001 04:19 (UTC) (Link)

Re: good while it lasted

Disclaimer: I AM **NOT**SUICIDAL!!

At the end of the day, if you are serious about killing yourself, you don't put it on a webcam for people to see, death is not pretty and you don't want to inflict that on your friends.

Many years ago, I made a plan. I still keep this plan in the back of my head, in case life ever gets too dire... but for life to be dire enough that I'd put the plan into action, I'd have to - oh, say, have an inoperable brain tumour, or have had my entire family killed in a train wreck, or something truly dire like that. Part of the reason I didn't enact the plan right away when I made it up all those years ago was that it's as close to guaranteed as I can figure out how to make it. Anyway.

A major component of the plan, possibly the most important part, is renting a hotel room. I can't think of anything worse to inflict on people I care about than the horror of finding my corpse in the bathroom. If I care about people, why the hell would I want to put them through that kind of pain?

On the other hand, I've worked as a hotel cleaning person, and I know there were days when finding a body in a bathtub (or a severed ear in a dresser drawer, a la Blue Velvet) would have been - well, not a happy thing exactly, but it would have relived the monotony, as well as probably getting me the rest of the day off with pay. I figure, you may as well give somebody else a bit of excitement on your last day.

Sometimes, I'm damn morbid. ;)
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th July 2001 13:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: good while it lasted

1) livejournal will be investigated and probably shut down.

Why? It saved that girl's life. If she hadn't posted her suicide note here people wouldn't have known about it until it was too late.

2) law enforcement people and mental health professionals will be going through all the livejournals they can find and forcibly treating and/or sectioning people.

That's difficult to do on an international medium, and how are they going to find out who people really are?
naesa From: naesa Date: 23rd July 2001 18:37 (UTC) (Link)
and what is frightening is, not knowing this person, i actually made it to her lj page on that day, while it was happening, through some odd links on friends pages. I am glad she's ok, though. Made me stop and think.

and, as an aside - hi. saw your link on a newsgroup, decided to come and add your journal - I'm always thrilled when i find lj people. :)
baratron From: baratron Date: 24th July 2001 15:45 (UTC) (Link)

Hello, welcome to reading. I will have to look at your LJ too. Don't be offended if I don't add you as a friend just yet - the only "friends only" entries I've made so far are things that I want to keep to people I know really well. Everything else is public.
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