Users Did Not Try To Discourage Suicide Livestreamed On Periscope

French officials open investigation into a livestreamed suicide.

BY Jason S Ganesan | May 12, 2016 | Opinion


There will come a time when humanity collectively decides that it has reached ‘peak social’. That time may be now. French officials have opened up an investigation into the suicide of 19-year-old woman, who live-streamed her own death using the Twitter-owned Periscope app. She was still recording when she threw herself under a train at the Égly station.

Mercifully, the video has been taken down, but excerpts from it have been circulating on YouTube. In the excerpts, she says that the video is not intended to “create buzz,” but rather to “make people react” and “to open minds.”

As expected—this is the internet, after all—another Periscope user then proceeds to ask her if she is going to kill herself, while another said that users were “waiting.” The video then goes dark and silent before the voice of an emergency worker is heard, and the train is seen.

In a statement, local prosecutor Éric Lallement said that prior to the act, the woman had texted a friend saying that she was going to kill herself because she was abused and raped by her ex-boyfriend.

It isn’t the first time that Periscope has been used to livestream the deplorable and inhumane, with recordings of an assault in France and a rape in the States making the news. But sadly, it probably won’t be the last.