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Reddit Subpoenaed In Wrongful Death Lawsuit

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the playing-the-blame-game dept.

Social Networks 303

redletterdave writes "In March, a 51-year-old Reddit user named 'Black Visions' wrote his last post on Reddit. He had been writing frequently about depression and suicide, but in his last post where he also threatened his own suicide, others decided to egg him on even further. That turned out to the be the last straw: Seattle news soon reported Jerry had jumped eight stories from a hotel room in the Double Tree in Tukwila, Washington. Reddit announced on Wednesday that the user's sister Sandy has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against nine Reddit users who egged him on, and Reddit has also been subpoenaed in identifying the information of another three individuals."

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haha, outdone by reddit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660751)

beat that, /b/ !

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660941)

newfag status detected.

There are multiple stories of people who killed themselves due to /b/.

also a couple people who told /b/ before they went on a shooting rampage, and where to "find her body"

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (5, Insightful)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660945)

That's why /b/ doesn't keep a record of its posts - by the time a family member would react to something like this, the post would already be gone. And even then, the people are posting as anonymous anyway.

Not posting AC because I'm a real man.

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661509)

Not posting AC because I'm a real man.

Now that was just rude. I'm going to kill myself and then sue you for it.

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662027)

last time I checked, corpses weren't allowed to sue. I believe your family would have to sue on your behalf.

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661075)

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661467)

Except that was posted on 4chan several hours after the shootings.

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661605)

no it wasn't newfag.. 4chan time codes are UTC. it was 4 hours before the shooting.

Re:haha, outdone by reddit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661915)

No, 4chan time codes are not in UTC. Go take a look, champ.

It's despicable, but... (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660775)

The people involved did a despicable thing. But I can't see how it's any more illegal than someone shouting "Jump!" at someone on a roof top when emergency services are trying to talk them down.

Re:It's despicable, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660827)

The people involved did a despicable thing. But I can't see how it's any more illegal than someone shouting "Jump!" at someone on a roof top when emergency services are trying to talk them down.

The difference is simple. It's in writing, here. There's money to be made.

Re:It's despicable, but... (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662103)

These are people who spend most of their time posting on Reddit. You think they actually have enough money to even cover the lawyer's bill to file the suit?

Re:It's despicable, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660843)

The people involved did a despicable thing. But I can't see how it's any more illegal than someone shouting "Jump!" at someone on a roof top when emergency services are trying to talk them down.

Where do YOU live?

Re:It's despicable, but... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660857)

But, but, this was on the Internet! That means activists who block access to establishments and graffiti artists spend over a decade in jail, and anyone who egged on a suicide should be sued for wrongful death! THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!

Re:It's despicable, but... (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660873)

But I can't see how it's any more illegal than

It's not illegal. A 'wrongful death' lawsuit is a civil action, not a criminal one. In this country, you can be sued for anything. I can sue you for pointing out that suing people for stupid shit is stupid, or because you have a lower slashdot ID than I do. I'm perfectly serious here; citation [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's despicable, but... (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661857)

You caused /. to show square brackets and I don't like them. I'm suing you for emotional distress.

Sadly, yes, I could actually do that. I couldn't win, but I could mis-appropriate the full weight of the U.S. Court system to force anyone to waste their own time and money responding or face arrest.

Re:It's despicable, but... (5, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660913)

...any more illegal than...

This isn't a criminal matter. 'Wrongful death' is civil law.

Re:It's despicable, but... (2)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660919)

But I can't see how it's any more illegal....

We're not talking about legality here, in the sense that these people have been charged with a crime. They are being sued by a relative of the deceased — big difference.

Re:It's despicable, but... (2)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660973)

Tuckwilla is more culpable just for being Tuckwilla. Well throw in a Doubletree hotel and you may as well have pushed the guy.

Re:It's despicable, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661011)

They just called out an attention whore after literal years of attention whoring.

Boy who cried wolf.

Re:It's despicable, but... (2, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661801)

Why would anyone want to stop the suicidal anyway? Our planet is vastly over populated and already straining for adequate resources. If someone wants to kill themselves, let them do it. Geeze!

Re:It's despicable, but... (-1, Troll)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661947)

I'm Commander Sheppard and I approve of this message...

Too soon?

Re:It's despicable, but... (2)

registrations_suck (1075251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661847)

May Van Halen should be sued - as VH wrote and sold millions of copies of a song glorifying suicide by jumping. Surely this poor fellow must have been influenced by the popularity of the song.

Shouldn't be a crime (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660819)

On the internet, nobody knows if you are who you say you are. You could really be a depressed person, or you could be a 7 line perl script. You could be talking to a real 15 year old girl, or it could be an FBI agent. Then there's products like Siri, cleverbot, etc., that blur the line even further. But even if that problem could be 'solved', there is no way to know whether an internet identity is a single person or a group.

So given that identity is not provable online, why should people act like it is? Also, if you don't mod this post +5, I'm going to hang myself with a power cord.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660859)

How are you going to hang yourself if you only get modded up to +3 or +4?

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662179)

How are you going to hang yourself if you only get modded up to +3 or +4?

I'll torture a carebear until I have extracted enough tears to drown myself.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660871)

Also, if you don't mod this post +5, I'm going to hang myself with a power cord.

Do it! I'll help tie the knot.

Posting AC so your sister doesn't sue me...

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661053)

If /. can count to 10, I'll jump off this TroubleDee hotel. Pics on the 5 o'clock news.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (3)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661473)

00
01
10

See you on the news!

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660925)

I think they should be charged as accessories to the death, just as happens if you help a gangster find the address of a guy who owes him money. You didn't do the killing yourself but you did help accomplish the task.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660983)

So basically, you think we need more laws, because there are no laws for this. It is a civil matter. No crime was broken.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661081)

So basically, you think we need more laws, because there are no laws for this. It is a civil matter. No crime was broken.

No, just your grammar.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (3, Funny)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661339)

He grammaticalled gooder than you, you dumb.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (2, Interesting)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661547)

So... if you break up with your girlfriend and she jumps off a bridge because of it, then you're an accessory?

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661809)

Your logic is severely flawed.

Ever waste food? Congratulations, you're an accessory to the death of anyone who has starved.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661009)

Just be careful it's not a Monster cable, those are very overpriced.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (5, Insightful)

matunos (1587263) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661055)

Legalties aside, if you preserve your own common decency online, then you wouldn't egg on someone to commit suicide, precisely because you *don't* know if they're serious or not.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661649)

But why should you preserve your own common decency online in the first place? You don't know if the person is serious or not in the first place. For all you know, the person could be egging YOU own just to tug on your heartstrings only to pull a "GOTCHA!" on you in the end.

If you take them seriously, you look like a fool when 99.9% of the internet reveals itself to be pulling a joke.
If you don't take them seriously, you get charged with a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you egg them on, you get charged with a wrongful death lawsuit and people berate your lack of online decency.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (4, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661987)

But why should you preserve your own common decency online in the first place?

Because if everyone decides not to, the Internet becomes nothing more than an echo chamber for trolls and other lowlifes.

If you just move on to the next post without comment, nothing happens. Sounds like a good option.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662135)

Legalties aside, if you preserve your own common decency online, then you wouldn't egg on someone to commit suicide, precisely because you *don't* know if they're serious or not.

Decency is hard to define and most attempts to impose it have resulted in significantly negative impacts on civil liberties that outweigh any benefits gained. While I agree completely and empathize that the issue of mental illness is not well understood or tolerated by the general public, there are no satisfactory answers to the problem at this time beyond education and campaigns to raise public awareness.

On a separate and more personal note, I have been suicidal, and as with most people who have been, I too dealt with people "egging me on". It made me feel like shit, but I'm not about to say that keeping my feelings from being hurt accomplish have a greater public good than maintaining the civil liberties of the general populace. I can only say this now because I have received treatment and have enough emotional distance from the situation; To someone like this parent, the pain is still too close to be objective like that. This lawsuit has little chance of success, and is motivated by grief. Not to say this is wrong, but we should be careful not to assign significant value to it at this time; A lawsuit can be filed for any reason... it does not establish culpability, intent, or anything other than serving notice that one party wishes for another to be responsible for an event.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661173)

It isn't a crime. The family is filing a civil suit in the hopes a wide net will catch a deep pocket.

The suit is complete nonsense. If the people would have been on the balcony with him goading him into jumping there might be a basis to sue. But they were on a website where the douchbag jumper had to make an effort to stay logged in to receive his goading.

Yeah, I know it isn't nice to speak ill of the dead and all, but the fact this person jumped to their death doesn't make them any less of a moron. Thanks to this asshat and the ones before him pretty much every hotel that once had windows that could be opened had bolted them closed. Maybe I'll sue the sister since the shallow end of the gene pool she emerged from cost me any chance of fresh air in my hotel room.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661227)

the internet, where men are men, women are men, and children are fbi agents

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661955)

*men are boys

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661341)

Also, if you don't mod this post +5, I'm going to hang myself with a power cord.

And finally, the Overrated mod has a purpose.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661399)

On the internet, nobody knows if you are who you say you are.

This may be more appropriate than you realize. From a Reddit thread:

I'm sorry but the real troll here is the author of this post. The person in the article is not black_visions.

Black_visions made that post Friday 03/09/12 at 5:37 UTC. We're being told that he killed himself that night. Yet, the news report says the person committed suicide on the Tuesday the 13th of March at a hotel. The sister says "a little over a month ago." Today is the 11th of March, not yet the one month mark looking the police report with the incident occurring 03/13/12 at 12:42 pm. Case number 12-1762

Only one man fits the description of the guy in the article: Culver, William M, 51 of Shoreline, March 13 died in King County, WA. The rest of the obits for the area are here.

Someone pulled this same exact stunt in /r/foreveralone a few months ago. Here was the original post from a guy saying he was going to kill himself. Here is the follow up post from his "sister". It's clearly fake, and I'd be willing to bet it's same troll as the one behind this.

EDIT: One more thing. Black_visions on a weekend night. The guy who died did it on Tuesday afternoon. That means that if it is the same guy, then the man waited 3 and a half days to kill himself after he made his post. By then the bullying posts were gone- they were deleted that same night by qanan - so unless he took screenshots of the comments as they were made and sent them to his sister, she couldn't have seen them.

From this thread. [reddit.com]

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661613)

It isn't a crime. Its a civil issue however. Subpoenas happen in civil cases too.

Re:Shouldn't be a crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661629)

Uhg... resisting modding down for the lulz. ;)

Poor guy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660829)

This is a really sad story.

I have to ask the question, even though it just feels wrong. Yeah, I know the old saying "If you have to ask, its probably illegal" might apply here.
Is it illegal to tell someone to commit suicide?

Re:Poor guy. (2, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660887)

Let's find out.

"Kill yourself, Anonymous Coward."

Waiting for cops...

Re:Poor guy. (1, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661211)

I'm normally a pretty ardent "speech should not be illegal" type, but intentionally egging on someone who is depressed with the intent to provoke them into suicide ought to be a crime.

If I know you've got a potentially lethal peanut allergy, and I slip peanut oil into your food (something normally harmless) knowing that it will provoke a severe medical condition, then I ought to be held liable.

This is no different than intentionally exacerbating a mental illness, IMO: it's taking advantage of someone's medical condition to hurt them by doing something that, because of that condition, is uniquely able to harm them.

Re:Poor guy. (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661493)

Christ.. another "there ought to be a law against (x)", or "(x) ought to be a crime"? Seriously, there are too many of your types out there screwing things up already. We keep making dumb laws that have rather nasty unforeseen consequences because some people get their panties in a twist over some distasteful, "deviant", or irksome behavior.

Yeah, those guys were assholes. They showed a severe lack of humanity and empathy. They are worthy of criticizing, shunning, and shaming. But that doesn't mean it should become illegal to be an unsavory prick. Putting people in prison because they are assholes hiding behind the anonymity of the internet is bullshit.

Re:Poor guy. (0)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661905)

If that's what you think, then you're not an ardent "speech should not be illegal" type. Only physical hurt counts. Mental hurt of an adult does not. It's not measurable. It's not verifiable. No conclusive causative link can be drawn - unlike your peanut allergy example.

Adults are supposed to be accountable for their own actions. No one can say "but he talked me into it!"

Re:Poor guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662071)

No. Wrong.

First of all, being crazy is not the same as having a peanut allergy. Knowingly giving someone with a peanut allergy a peanut, knowing it will harm them, could be considered attempted murder.

Posting on reddit, where trolls are rampant, that someone should kill themselves, is not, and should not, be a crime.

People on the internet have no idea if you are actually crazy, or just being a troll. Making laws against this is INSANE. It would END all internet forums.

The dumbass killed himself for whatever reasons. Posts on the internet were the least of his problems. Especially since he killed himself 3 days after the posts were made (and almost immediately deleted).

Why do people like you seem to really think that everything is somebody elses fault. Maybe the guy was just fucked in the head, and killed himself. Ever think of that? Can't that be possible? No, he had a "disease" and isn't responsible for his own actions. Bullshit.

I take it you have a similar "disease" to be posting such nonsense. Fucking tards.

Re:Poor guy. (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661377)

Depends on the jurisdiction - some places *do* make it illegal to encourage someone to commit suicide.

Re:Poor guy. (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661403)

It's a wrongful death suit, not a criminal case.

Yeah, good luck with that. (1, Flamebait)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660831)

Dude was drama-queening on the interwebs, some assholes got their kicks poking the quivering blob of uselessness and then he killed himself. This is no different than assholes in a crowd on the street shouting "jump" at a person on a ledge. There is zero rational argument that the assholes had anything at all to do with the death. But good luck in yer quest for deep pockets, sister of dead guy. You'll come out with squat, plus lawyers' fees.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660911)

According to reddit:

Drama has consequences.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661291)

>Dude was drama-queening on the interwebs,

If you call complaining about not being able to ever see your daughter drama; FTA

"Jerry had a fairly troubled past, and had been suicidial before those final few days of his life," Sandy said. "His ex-wife, who is the mother of his disabled 20 year old daugther, took a lot of his money for support and never let Jerry see his daughter.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (2)

Americano (920576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661559)

Really? You can't see any way somebody shouting, "I'm gonna kill myself, I'm gonna kill myself," while perched on a 10th floor ledge actually jumping to their death could be, in any way, related to a crowd of fuckwads on the ground laughing, pointing, and shouting, "Jump! Jump you faggot!"? The presence of a crowd of people who are not only not concerned, but are actively encouraging the person to kill themselves - and you don't think that might have a negative influence on their receptiveness to a counselor trying to talk them off the ledge? You see no way it could actually confirm the feelings that have led them to that situation in the first place?

I guess the GIFT [penny-arcade.com] has more supporting evidence.

Re:Yeah, good luck with that. (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661941)

The idea is that adults are responsible for their own actions. Adults are not supposed to be able to blame their actions on other people who "egged them on".

Some People Should Die... (0)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 2 years ago | (#39660905)

.... That's Just Unconscious Knowledge. - Perry Farrell

It'll probably be thrown out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660935)

It's shitty what they did, but Reddit and its users aren't a suicide hotline or discussion forum. Maybe he should have called a suicide prevention hotline to talk to someone. Or spoken to someone at a church, police station, fire department, etc. Anywhere other than a discussion web site for posting kitten photos. I'm sure someone in the comments on Reddit mentioned that.

Re:It'll probably be thrown out (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661249)

There's a difference between not doing anything and intentionally making a medical condition worse.

If you're having a severe asthma attack on the street, the decent thing for me to do would be to call an ambulance. Just walking on by is not decent, but it's also not a crime (unless I'm a medical provider). But blowing cigar smoke in your face hoping that I can make your condition worse so that you keel over? That's different.

Re:It'll probably be thrown out (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661775)

Did you know that you can make a miracle household cleaner by mixing bleach and ammonia.

Your going to want a lot of it, so get the largest bottles available. It cleans everything.

Also cling wrap and a rubber band makes a great condom.

Re:It'll probably be thrown out (2, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661979)

Asthama is a physical condition. Laws deal with physical harm, not mental harm to adults. No one cares about anyone's feelings and the law shouldn't care either. Adults are expected to take care of their own brains.

Where was she in his time of need? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660967)

Where was she when he was posting? Blame everyone else, but you're absolved through willful ignorance?

And nothing of value was lost. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660971)

n/t

Get over it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660977)

It's unfortunate he did that, but you can't stop human nature. Bullying and/or being a bully is something that each and every person must learn to deal with. If its a child, then it's the parents job to teach them how to ocntend with it, or if the child is too young to learn that yet, then the parent should be near by to protect the child.

In this case we are talking about an adult, who is responsible for his own action.

Personally I am tired of all these lawsuits of people wanting to blame somebody else. The courts should throw that case right out..

Re:Get over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661757)

You'd think that people on a website devoted to "the sort of people who are typically bullied throughout their young lives" (i.e., Slashdot, with it's nerd contingent) would generally be a lot more sympathetic to a story of someone else being bullied.

But I guess you're right - "being a bully" is just something that each and every person must learn to deal with, and it's even more fun if the internet makes it easy for you. And when nerds get the chance to look down on somebody, they relish the opportunity as much as the kids who used to give the nerds those atomic turbo wedgies.

Bet you can't wait to get over to /b/ later today so you can really have some laughs about this!

there's no lifeguard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39660993)

in the gene pool - stay on your meds and get over it

"51-year-old Reddit user" (5, Funny)

gatfirls (1315141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661005)

You know it crossed your mind. Don't lie.

No hard evidence of any of this (5, Informative)

Ryxxui (1108965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661007)

The article cites a user-made post, not an official statement by reddit. Multiple people on reddit, including comments on the cited SubredditDrama post, have pointed out that there is no hard evidence that
-Black Visions killed himself
-Sister of Black Visions is actually Black Vision's sister
-That there is any subpoena or legal action being pursued
Get back to me after there's real evidence of any of those things.

Re:No hard evidence of any of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661519)

http://tukwila.komonews.com/news/911/728610-man-falls-eighth-story-doubletree-apparent-suicide

Not enough details to confirm the link between the news story and the story here, but perhaps this is the event in question?

Most redditors were in fact trying to help him (5, Informative)

tpotus (1856224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661027)

His final posts can be read on http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/qoixk/a_lot_of_trolls_tonight/ [reddit.com] Looking through it I get the sense that people were trying to reach out and tried to persuade him from killing himself. TFA makes it sound as though everyone was cheering him on. Those few who trolled got severely downvoted. I can't see how reddit nor its users are in any way responsible for his death. Rather seems like his family is out to find a scapegoat. Where were they when he needed help and support?

Re:Most redditors were in fact trying to help him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39662111)

I can't see how reddit nor its users are in any way responsible for his death

Maybe that's why she's only suing the specific "nine Reddit users who egged him on", not the entire site.

Choice (0)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661063)

His choice ('Free will, mutha-fscker, ever heard of it?). Color me dubious that a handful of anons writing 'doo-it, doo-it' could convince anyone to take that last step. Unless he had a long, well-documented history of self-harm for attention-getting, file his choice right next to (what should be) our inherent right to control our own bodies. Yes, even men. We all have the right to sign up for the Hemingway Retirement Plan as our personal circumstances warrant.

Re:Choice (5, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661421)

Clearly you don't suffer from clinical depression. It's a whole different reality from the common human experience. Under such a condition you can easily loose your free will to a great roaring abyss that you clearly don't understand and I hope you never do. That's why people like this need help and are easily coerced into yet darker and colder places. He didn't jump. He was pushed by the growing darkness consuming his mind, rational thought, and free will.

Re:Choice (0)

Reservoir Penguin (611789) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661673)

Where does it say anything about his diagnosis? From his posts he seems like a women hater, he blamed women for all his problems ("fight for men's rights"). In this respect he is no different from that guy who killed female students ("feminists") at the Canadian Politechnique before turning the gun on himself.

Re:Choice (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662039)

Then why was he allowed on the Internet at all if he wasn't in possession of his senses? If you enter a place where regular adults are interacting, they're going to treat you like an adult as well. And that includes being responsible for your actions.

If this guy was clinically unable to take responsibility, he should either be in a mental hospital, or in the care of guardians who don't allow him access to the Internet.

Re:Choice (1)

Caratted (806506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662173)

Incredible. A guy named wjcofkc knows a guy named black_visions and has information (which would be illegal, assuming black_visions did not give it to him) regarding his medical diagnosis.

Do yourself a favor, step back, and get real. Depression is an awful thing, but this isn't an NYT article. There isn't even any resource of information to debate over, unless you want to argue the validity of some internet users' comments on a random suicide. Get off the soapbox.

Re:Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661655)

We all have the right to sign up for the Hemingway Retirement Plan as our personal circumstances warrant

One that the Republicans and Democrats combine to fight tooth and nail to take from you.

Oh, in the Men's Rights subreddit. (1, Troll)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661067)

For those who don't know, the Men's Rights subreddit is full of people who think that anybody who identifies as a feminist wants to take away rights from men. In general, the men's rights subreddit is all about asking the question, "but what about men?" when an issue primarily pertaining to women (like birth control, rape, etc.) comes up.

There is also a significant contingent who is there for advice when they get divorced, in order to get the most and/or lose the least from the divorce.

It is pretty much a terrible place.

Re:Oh, in the Men's Rights subreddit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661389)

And those MR's people are usually quite paranoid (I ran into one that said he didn't go to college because he was afraid that some girl might falsely accuse him of rape at some dorm orgy, seriously, that was his excuse for not going to college). My impression of them is that they are usually looking for scapegoats for their own shitty lot in life, instead of actually doing something about it, they blame others (primarily women) and wallow in it. Not surprised that one of them killed themselves.

Doesn't surprise me that his sister is also looking for scapegoats.

Smells like a bunch of bull (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661095)

First off there is no official announcement from Reddit that they received subpoenas or not, all we have is a bunch of posts from random strangers. Second, subpoenas would be handled by the lawyers office directly. Third, the lawyer would have informed the family to stay off the website and not post a warning about upcoming subpoenas because it gives time for those who made the comments to clean up their trail.

Additionally, some people have taken the time to poke holes into the story of the poster and of the "apparent" suicide.

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/s60bw/a_month_ago_a_suicidal_redditor_left_his_final/c4bdfhy

And this isn't the first time someone has tried to pull a fast one on reddit

http://www.urlesque.com/2011/03/10/gawker-adrian-chen-cancer-lucidending/

This lawsuit must be thrown out (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661113)

This lawsuit must be thrown out, it's bullshit (at least if you subscribe to the concept of free speech) and telling telling somebody to go kill themselves is not an order and nobody has to follow it.

Now, when you are in the military and your commander tells you to go kill yourself in a roundabout way: "Soldier, go over there, secure that position and stay there", and you do it, then it's an order, of-course that's a different situation, the soldier knew he could get killed because of orders (but even in the military there are bounds of reason that cannot be crossed, a soldier shouldn't be complying with illegal orders for example).

Again, people can be assholes, but they must have their right to be assholes.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661871)

If people are free to be an asshole and egg somebody to kill themselves, then that guy's sister is just as free to be an asshole and sue people

And the judge is free to be an asshole and make an asshole decision about the case, which lead to more opportunities for people to be free to be assholes

Why would you want to throw out the case and prevent so many people from being assholes? Man, you're an asshole

Re:What's good for the goose is good for the gande (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662065)

That guy's sister can certainly start that case, but while everybody's right to be an asshole is supposed to be Constitutionally protected, the judge is supposed to protect that very Constitution that protects assholes' rights.

Today you hear all about 'activist judges', but whoever says it means something else altogether. An activist judge, is a judge who chooses NOT to uphold and protect the Constitution, but chooses instead to act against the letter and/or the spirit of that law.

A judge is NOT an activist judge for upholding the Constitution, and if this means striking a law down that is unconstitutional, then it's his authority and responsibility to uphold the Constitution and take down that law.

But of-course people love to muddy the water and redefine what words mean, it's double plus good in their mind, that they do it with impunity (for now).

Good, reddit users are fucking assholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661169)

Pompous hipster doofuses. I'm not surprised they egged him on, and they deserve the lawsuit.

Free Will vs. Raw Humanity (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661251)

While this is sad, on several if not all fronts, online forums are not an outlet for therapy. That is, unless that forum is dealing with therapy itself.

Simple fact is, he chose to go to reddit. He chose to air his problems. Yes I realize that when in depressed states people can think they appear to have no choice at all, but that all goes back to state of mind, regardless of exterior influence by people on reddit. Even moreso if he felt that was a place he felt a part of.

Now I don't browse reddit often, I should say maybe once a month, but if it's like every other open community on the net, the range of personalities extend to the full of humanity. See 'Greater Internet Dickwad Theory' for examples.

I feel for the girl suing, I really do, but nothing good is going to come out of this. Closure does not come out of a courtroom or through the Internet. It might seem like it can, but the physical and the virtual are 2 vastly different places. Especially when the death of a loved one is involved.

did anybody read the rest of his "suicide note" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661483)

"No I'm planning to kill myself, doesn't matter anyway."
"You shouldn't take the hate group thing so seriously. It doesn't mean much really. That sure as hell isn't the reason I'm killing myself. I've had long term depression ... life just isn't going to get better for me."

He WRITES its not them...
I mean what those people did was irresponsible, but he didnt kill himself just cause they said to. I'm guessing they were just "calling a bluff" when he was being real. Im sure they feel pretty crappy right now for doing so.
just my 2 cents

The troll simply didn't read the post (4, Insightful)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661525)

It looks like the guy being sued (AlyoshaV) simply didn't read the post till the end (where the suicide note was), and commented on partial post with some stupid joke.
Had he read the post till the end, the suit could be avoided (probably not the suicide).

This should be an important message to all slashdotters: always read all posts in their entirety before commenting. Always RTFA thoroughly till the very end, or you could be the next murderer.

I think Free Speech should be protected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661535)

...in the main, and from the apparent statements in this case.

Separations from partners are often acrimonious and exchanges saying "F**k off and die" are commonplace. It's obvious his ex-wife didn't want any contact with him. Maybe his ex-wife should countersue his estate for his harassing phone calls.

I can see both his sister and his ex-wife spending loads of money on this lawsuit and having no money left to support his disabled daughter.

Knife's Edge (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661683)

If this poor fellow was actually pushed over the brink by a few reddit comments, he was standing awfully close to it. I don't think the commentators should be held culpable since a normal person wouldn't be fazed by such things. Outright harrassment or threats aside, legislating human interaction on that level would be too subjective.

Are you kidding me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39661709)

A guy killed himself over a post on a subforum called "Men's Rights"?
If there was any time for a Darwin Award, it would be now.

And no, I'm not posting as AC because I don't want to get sued, I don't even have an account to begin with, and don't live in the USA.

Hahahahahaha (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661937)

Klerck [archive.org] wants his movie plot back!

What proof? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661943)

What proof, beyond reasonable doubt, is there that he would not have jumped if those people wouldn't have egged him on? If just a few people wriitng mean things on an Internet forum would cause people to jump from buildings, the Internet would be the primary cause of death and facebook would have been sued bankrupt a long time ago. Unless there is irrefutable proof that these posts have a direct significant relation to the death of this person, there is no damage to be claimed.

People get depressed and take their own lives. in the majority of cases suicide happens, external circumstances may be triggers for already predetermined actions and behavior, but are not a cause. This is a part of life, it's a natural reaction to a chemical imbalance, caused by a variation of things. It could be stress, it could be hereditary, it could be a reaction to hormone imbalances (both mother and fetus) during pregnancy and childhood and it could be due to physical trauma or illness. The vast majority of suicide attempts happen anyway and the circumstances merely act as a vehicle, if they even have any influence at all.

Skeptical (4, Interesting)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39661969)

Comments on Reddit point out that
-- This has happened before in other places with a fake sister
-- the suicide was committed by jumping off a building, while the user threatened to commit suicide by shooting himself
-- the suicide happened several days after the nasty replies were deleted
-- the user's real name was supposedly Jerry, but the name of the man who killed himself was William.

Furthermore, carefully reading the Reddit link itself, Reddit has not received a subpoena. Rather, Reddit has been *told by the supposed sister of the user* that they *will be subpoenaed* in the future; at no point does Reddit claim to have actually received the subpoena. As a bonus, the man's supposed sister claims "We were told by our lawyer not to give any other information out such as our full names or the people to be named in the lawsuit", which makes her claims immune to verification.

It's quite likely that some troll saw a suicide in the newspaper and decided to claim that the suicide was connected when they were really just trolling. Ruling that out would require having the subpoena, not just having a claim that one was sent.

Re:Skeptical (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662017)

Oh, and the dead man was 51 years old, which is very unusual for the Reddit demographic.

A real Turing test? (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662069)

Hah, there's a Turing Test joke in here somewhere, I'm just no that clever....

Go!

Obligatory: (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39662169)

By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourself. Thank you. Just planting seeds, planting seeds is all I'm doing. No joke here, really. Seriously, kill yourself, you have no rationalisation for what you do, you are Satan's little helpers. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show. Seriously, I know the marketing people: 'There's gonna be a joke comin' up.' There's no fuckin' joke. Suck a tail pipe, hang yourself...borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy, do something...rid the world of your evil fuckin' presence. -- Bill Hicks

Thank goodness Bill isn't around to see this sad shit...

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