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Which clippings match 'Teen Suicide' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 OCTOBER 2013

The use of social media has the potential for good or harm

"Over the past months we've seen other destructive aspects of the 'net. From death threats tweeted to female MPs and journalists, to the tragic suicides of cyber–bullied teens. Growing concern about the web is understandable and reviews into safeguarding must continue.

Yet alongside healthy caution it's crucial that the technology itself does not become the focus of the blame. Technology is a tool and we get to choose how we use it. When we blame the tool we take the moral onus off ourselves, the user.

From the ability to control fire, to the invention of the wheel or the printing press, each has the potential for great good, or great harm. No tool is completely neutral of course – but we shape them far more than they shape us. That perspective is crucial & empowering."

(Vicky Beeching, 24 October 2013, BBC Radio 4: Thought for the Day)

TAGS

ad press • BBC Radio 4 • blaming tools • cultural technologycyberbullyingdestructive potentialdigital technology • disturbing elements • ethical considerationsFacebookgraphic violence • healthy caution • internet age • internet revolution • invention of the wheel • moral complexities • potential for good • potential for harmprinting presssafeguardingscrutinysocial changesocial mediasocial networking • technical instrumentalism • technological instrumentalismtechnology as neutral • technology industry • technology is a tooltechnology neutralityteen suicideThought for the Day • Vicky Beeching

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Webcam viewers taunt teenager as he commits suicide

"A teenager committed suicide in front of a live webcam as 1,500 people watching online egged him on. Abraham Biggs, 19, told users on a bodybuilding forum he would be committing suicide that night and invited them to watch the live video. Forum moderators allegedly ignored the post – assuming it was a prank – while other users posted insults and even encouraged him. The teen used the 'lifecasting' website Justin.tv – designed to let users share the minutiae of their everyday lives – to stream footage from his bedroom.

Biggs, from Florida, was seen taking pills before lying on the bed with his back to the camera. Users claim they only realised it was serious a few hours later when they saw he wasn't breathing. Moderators then traced Biggs's location and informed authorities. The webcam was still streaming live footage of the teen's body as police entered the room yesterday. ...

His death echoes that of British man Kevin Whitrick, from Shropshire, who also killed himself in front of a webcam while at least 100 other people watched. ... The deaths have sparked a wave of concern following 17 internet–related suicides within the UK since 2001."

(Debra Killalea, 21st November 2008)

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TAGS

2008 • Abraham Biggs • CandyJunkie • cyberpsychologydeath • digital forensics • Florida • internet-related • Justin.tv • Kevin Whitrick • lifecasting • live • pills • schadenfreude • social softwarespectatorshipstreaming videosuicide • taunt • teenteen suicideteenager • video stream • voyeurismvulnerability of childhoodvulnerable peoplewebcam

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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