Facebook has undeniably become a part of human culture. The site attracts (and maybe even breeds)narcissism among its users. It’s even being used by Chinese agents to spy on top US officials, and now it’s even being used as a public forum of extreme unhappiness–that eventually led to a very public suicide.
The specific reasons behind Claire Lin’s death are vague, but one thing that makes her passing different is because she chose to die on a public platform: Facebook.
Here’s what the police say happened: plagued with relationship problems, 31-year-old Lin took to Facebook and chatted with her friends on the site, saying that she was going to kill herself. Lin posted updates and even uploaded an image of her room with a charcoal barbecue burning next to two stuffed animals. Another image showed the room slowly filling up with smoke.
One friend identified as Chung Hsin pleaded with Lin to “be calm, open the window, put out the charcoal fire, please, I beg you.” However, Lin brushed off the calls to stop what she was doing.
“The fumes are suffocating. They fill my eyes with tears. Don’t write me anymore.”
“Too late. My room is filled with fumes. I just posted another picture. Even while I’m dying, I still want FB (Facebook). Must be FB poison. Haha.”
– Claire Lin
The people Claire chatted with attempted to contact her, but ironically, they never called the police. Claire died 67 minutes later. Her body was discovered by her boyfriend the next morning.
Facebook has stated that the company was saddened by Lin’s death and said that her case serves as a “painful reminder of how people can help others who are in distress or need assistance.”
Need help? In the U.S., you can call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for assistance.