Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

A Suicide Goes Viral On the Internet

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the modicum-of-decency dept.

The Internet 566

Hugh Pickens writes "Will Oremus reports that Fox News showed a grisly spectacle Friday afternoon during a live car chase when the suspect got out of his car, stumbled down a hillside, pulled a gun, and shot himself in the head. As the scene unfolded, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith grew increasingly apprehensive, then yelled 'get off it, get off it!,' belatedly urging the show's producers to stop the live feed as it became obvious the man was going to do something rash. Fox News cut awkwardly to a commercial just after showing his death and after Fox aired the on-air suicide, Smith apologized to viewers, saying, 'We really messed up.' However BuzzFeed immediately posted the footage on YouTube, where it garnered more than 1,000 'likes' in under an hour, sparking immediate blowback. 'Who's worse? @FoxNews for airing the suicide, or @BuzzFeed for re-posting the video just in case you missed it the first time?' posted the Columbia Journalism Review. Gawker's Hamilton Nolan called his site's decision to post the video 'ethical,' because 'it is news' but research suggests that graphic depictions of suicide in the media can spur copycat suicides, especially among young people, and the World Health Organization's guidelines warn against sensationalizing it. Virtually everyone who has studied it agrees that, at a minimum, suicides should be covered with a modicum of sensitivity and context (PDF). 'Of course it's news that Fox News accidentally aired the video. And you can make a good case that Fox was inviting this type of debacle with its habit of airing live car-chase feeds. But Fox couldn't have known that it was about to air a suicide. BuzzFeed, by contrast, knew exactly what it was doing,' writes Oremus. 'That might be good business for BuzzFeed, but it's hard to see the benefit for anyone else.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Copycat suicides (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499895)

Are the best form of population control , and do involve a bit of Darwin. Can we atleast not interfere in this one? Already we interfere with him by using medical stuff

Re:Copycat suicides (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500061)

So tired of the "Darwin" meme. It expresses a sense of smug superiority that is entirely undeserved.

Re:Copycat suicides (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500133)

Murder is "at best" a form of population control, and certainly involves "Darwin" - the strongest murderers survive. Can we at least not interfere in this one?

Let's face it: suicide happens. You'll get far more suicides happening by not talking about it than you will by revealing the truth to people - even if a few copycat suicides in the immediate aftermath are inevitable. Hint: people don't just kill themselves because they've seen a death, but may simply have seen a method for doing something they wanted to do anyway.

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries are far less hypocritical with the news than Anglo-Saxon countries, frequently showing gruesome injuries or cadavers. If you're going to report the "news", it cannot just be the things which echo your opinions or which make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

tl;dr We cannot be as Victoria who pulls down the shutter to her Royal Train when travelling past the Dark Satanic Mills which society has built.

Re:Copycat suicides (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500265)

Let's face it: suicide happens. You'll get far more suicides happening by not talking about it than you will by revealing the truth to people - even if a few copycat suicides in the immediate aftermath are inevitable. Hint: people don't just kill themselves because they've seen a death, but may simply have seen a method for doing something they wanted to do anyway.

This is true, but they've noticed correlations between different ways that suicide is discussed and the suicide rate following it. The suicide rate tends to go down if it is discussed in a way that includes urging people who are thinking about it to get help. However, when someone's glorified for their suicide and no one says to get help if you're thinking about it, suicide rates tend to go up. Of course, that's all just correlation, not causation, but it is interesting.

Re:Copycat suicides (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500261)

Yes, nobody who dies from suicide could possibly have ever contributed [wikipedia.org] anything [wikipedia.org] to [wikipedia.org] the [wikipedia.org] benefit [wikipedia.org] of [wikipedia.org] society [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Copycat suicides (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500321)

Hey! Kurt Cobain was MURDERED, dammit! It's a goddamn cover up! Don't buy it!

Calm before the hyperbole (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499899)

Before anyone starts jumping on Fox News for whatever axe they have to grind with them, please substitute Fox News with "CNN" or "MSNBC" and ask yourself if your vitriol would be just the same.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (5, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499965)

Good point. It also sounds like at least some of the folks at Fox were trying to prevent the footage from going live, and they apologized immediately afterward. Buzzfeed, on the other hand, deliberately posted the footage with full knowledge of its contents.

I think Fox has the moral (relative) high ground here.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (5, Informative)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500065)

My understanding is that they attempted to put it on a 5 second delay, but the delay didn't kick in. So it was live, and by the time they knew to cut it, it was too late.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (5, Insightful)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500143)

My understanding is that they attempted to put it on a 5 second delay, but the delay didn't kick in. So it was live, and by the time they knew to cut it, it was too late.

The questions remains: why did they air that chase anyway? Because its journalism? Or because its sensationalism? Did they show it because they thought the guy would just stop the car and surrender, or because they hoped for some nice crashes (where you could pretend that nobody died) that they should over and over again, spinning it off into some Fox reality show? Sure, other channels would (or actually) have done the same - but its still not really news.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500223)

Of course they aired it because it was exciting, and statistically, suicides are rare.

On April 30, 1998, I decided to ditch the latter half of the school day with my girlfriend. On the news was the long, drawn-out suicide of Daniel Victor Jones [liveleak.com] [ WARNING: GRAPHIC! ] who was an AIDS patient protesting, on the Los Angeles' 710 freeway, teh lack of care he received through an HMO. The part that the video does not show is that he gets in his truck with his dog before he sets the truck on fire, then runs out of the flaming truck shutting the door behind him so that his dog dies in the inferno.

Then, he gets his shotgun and blows his head off. All of this was televised LIVE on the news, which caused the news networks to actually put counselors on the air after the incident, it was a huge shitstorm.

As for me, I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of the day. My girlfriend said, "well, that fucker deserved it. Let's go get some KFC. " I told her, "you want to eat right after watching a grizzly live suicide?!" She said, "Yeah, why not? He deserved it, burning his dog like that. Let's go to KFC."

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500339)

I'd still take it over 'news' about what some royal visit entailed. Even without the headshot.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (4, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500149)

My understanding from the apology was that there WAS a 5 second delay, and the guy in charge of The Button didnt press it in the 5 second time.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500155)

Why is either airing an issue?

Kids can be flooded with unlimited fictional violence on TV, movies and video games but the real thing is suddenly objectionable?

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499971)

Nah, I think it unlikely for the opportunity to be passed up. They actually screwed up so it's even legit.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (0, Troll)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499973)

Before anyone starts jumping on Fox News for whatever axe they have to grind with them, please substitute Fox News with "CNN" or "MSNBC" and ask yourself if your vitriol would be just the same.

"CNN went to court and won the right to lie in news broadcasts"
"MSNBC went to court and won the right to lie in news broadcasts"

Nope, doesn't work.

Vitriol unchanged.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (1)

Hork_Monkey (580728) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500063)

Great job of taking that one sentence for your axe grinding.

I bet you bitch about Fox News deliberately taking things out of context, too.

You added nothing to the discussion about the actual topic, so please do the rest of us a favor and go play somewhere else.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (0, Troll)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500281)

I replied to your AC troll pre-emptive defence of Fox News that aims to set up the high-school-quality debate technique that says that anyone who criticises Fox in the following discussion is somehow wrong because you already brought that up and "owned" the argument. (I assume that was you bravely not logging in, since you've taken the time to reply to a comment "that added nothing to the discussion" yet somehow was additive enough to be worth replying to, and in your haste to reply you forgot to check the bravery box).

"Hey guys, let's discuss topic X, but before we do, I know what you're all going to say so if you say that X sucks then you just don't get it! This debate is only allowed to have opinions I agree with!"

To reply directly to your guesswork over what I think of Fox News; no I don't usually bitch about them taking things out of context, I just assume they always do wherever possible. I save any bitching for egregious lies or the hilarious times where they don't understand grade school maths and create pie charts that add up to more than 100%, or for their fairly typical hypocrisy (for example, criticism of the president during Bush era = unamerican, unpatriotic hate speech, criticism of the president during Obama era = constitutionally protected free speech and show of patriotism).

They're a toxic propaganda channel funded by wealthy special interests who pay well for the truth to be heavily distorted, hence the lawsuit over the right to lie. If they'd lost that suit it becomes very difficult for them to carry out their primary mandate. I have much more than "one sentence" to draw on for my axe grinding - I don't type out everything in my head every time I post a message. I'm not sure how else to address that point.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500145)

Before anyone starts jumping on Fox News for whatever axe they have to grind with them, please substitute Fox News with "CNN" or "MSNBC" and ask yourself if your vitriol would be just the same.

"CNN went to court and won the right to lie in news broadcasts"
"MSNBC went to court and won the right to lie in news broadcasts"

Nope, doesn't work.

Vitriol unchanged.

Jo_ham went on Slashdot to lie about Fox News.

Yeah, that's actually true.

See, the story you are talking about wasn't even FoxNews. It was a Fox affiliate in Florida. Next, neither FoxNews nor the affiliate ever argued for the right to lie. Here are the facts:

A reporter for a Fox affiliate in Florida did a hit piece on Monsanto. Fox decided not to air it. When they finally did air it, they wanted a response from Monsanto. Well, the reporter had a fit and refused to do the story if it included a Monsanto response. So, Fox did the right thing and fired her and her partner. Well, they sued trying to claim "whistle-blower" status, lost, and were then ordered to pay Fox's legal fees.

Where the "argued for the right to lie" bit comes in was from a person who is against GMO foods and hates Monsanto. He said that Monsonto's response to the store was a lie, so Fox was arguing for the right to lie. People picked it up and it spread, even though it wasn't the truth. The people like you heard it, believed it because it is what you WANTED to believe, and spreads it far and wide.

Jane Akre was the reporters name. Feel free to look it up. The report was on BGH (bovine growth hormone) that Akre and Wilson were saying had severe, negative health effects. Well, dairy farmers still use BGH, and this was over 12 years ago and most milk drinkers are not dead... so it appears that Akre and Wilson were wrong. They were actually the ones suing Fox to air a false report. It was them who went to court, arguing to lie.

HERE [campaignfreedom.org] are the facts of the case.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500007)

CNN and MSNBC are politically correct so they deserve a free pass. If it had been on MSNBC almost no would have ever seen it.

Behind the scenes at Fox (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500203)

I have complete confidence that behind the scenes, the top people at Fox are delighted beyond belief over this. This is the type of cheap and vulgar thing that they are famous for.

You need to remember that the decline of journalism - especially TV journalism - in this country (the US) is the direct result of Fox's (Rupert Murdoch's) desire to appeal to the "Conservative" populace and the lowest common denominator in the US. This was stated explicitly in the mission statement of the network when he created it in the 80's. And as a result the other networks have followed and we now have this spiral to the bottom. CNN has done well in not following to closely and they're pretty good with the hard news; as well as NPR.

Fox and their talking heads, propagated this myth of the "liberal media", formatted the news accordingly, and as a result we in the US have a portion of our electorate that is so ill-informed that they are steering much this country down a road that is becoming quite scary.

But our news organizations in the US have become lazy, incompetent, and over sensationalism all because of Fox's leadership down the toilet. Much of the BS in Washington is because our news organizations are letting those people get away with their non-sense and frankly, when I really want to know what's going on in Washington, I look to foreign sources - like the Economist for one.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (1)

MrL0G1C (867445) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500215)

Yes, I've been disgusted at the BBC for posting video clips on their website in a sensationalist manner, the clips aren't particularly newsworthy, they've sunk as low as the worst tabloids.

Re:Calm before the hyperbole (0, Troll)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500267)

please substitute Fox News with "CNN" or "MSNBC" and ask yourself if your vitriol would be just the same.

No, the vitriol wouldn't be the same (though it would be horrible for any network). Fox News has been the media arm of the Republican party for as long as Fox has been on cable. It has a decade long history of pushing Republican-approved propaganda. All of its past offenses and lies add up. It's easier to be MORE outraged at Fox, all other things equal, because Fox has been doing this for longer than anybody else.

Some might argue that CNN has been around longer than Fox and should be held to account for its years of "liberal bias". I disagree. CNN's bias (if it exists) has never been as extreme (truly outrageous) as Fox News' bias. It would be outrageous if CNN showed something like this, but that outrage wouldn't be added onto over a decade of journalistic abuse.

Suicide happens, (0, Troll)

EMABrad (2609103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499903)

and those who don't like it can just kill themselves!

Re:Suicide happens, (1)

XphX (2741853) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499939)

That's one of the more disturbing comments I've seen on /.

Re:Suicide happens, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500113)

Watch a few tapes where US soldiers kill reporters from an helicopter, it's much more fun.
Are you afraid he's going to hell?

Re:Suicide happens, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499941)

and those who don't like it can just kill themselves!

Not funny

Re:Suicide happens, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499975)

Why don't you go out and shoot yourself in the head?

Re:Suicide happens, (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499985)

BEYOND not funny. Pretty much about as not funny as Buzzard Feed.

Re:Suicide happens, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500035)

The nice thing is that he saved people a ton of money for the costs of jailing and trying him. I wish all criminals were so thoughtful.

Re:Suicide happens, (2)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500137)

Seeing the mod war parent is going through, I have to ask: what is it with suicide that riles people up? The news air shootings all the time, and a lot of homicides are shown on camera - that's pretty much ok, it seems. But why are suicides a no-no? If you ask me, they're way less shocking, since no one is forcefully overriding anyone's will.

Re:Suicide happens, (4, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500195)

That's because just about everyone thinks suicide is evil, selfish, wrong, etc. Unless you're a pedophile, then do everyone a favor and go shoot yourself.

Elvis @ McDonalds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499907)

So BuzzFeed is an online Tabloid?

I give zero fucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499921)

I fucked your dad

whats the problem now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499929)

i only see win win situation here, a news organization not censor whats happening and the other hand copycat suicides? wtf, can we at least acknowledge we have a population problem?

Re:whats the problem now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499961)

shout out to all the old ogrish guys! We all know this video is spoofed, he was obviously shot by a drone

I committed suicide once (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499949)

Highly recommended. Would do it again.

U$tArds killing 'emselves, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499951)

less stupid ppl in the world. No one is complaining.

Shocking to watch live (2)

slasher999 (513533) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499963)

Wife and I were watching this live. It was shocking to say the least. I'm sad to say I've now witnessed two suicides live on television over the years. Live television is difficult since people can be so unpredictable.

Re:Shocking to watch live (2, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500053)

No offense man, but people got so soft nowadays, especially in "civilized" countries. People from Western Europe, UK, USA, Canada et al seem to have become very sensitive to what they call "gruesome" images. But at the same time they watch Saw VII or whatever. Yeah, I know one's "the real deal" and the other is "fake stuff" but really, strictly from a visual perspective pretty much any live murder or suicide is less spectacular.
Grow a pair and realize you just watched some troubled complete stranger do something that's less gruesome than most thrillers/horror movies out there.

Re:Shocking to watch live (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500101)

strictly from a visual perspective

Unless the viewer is a psychopath (in the clinical sense) that is never how it works.

Grow a pair

Grow up.

Re:Shocking to watch live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500107)

Do not for one second suggest that the same people that complain about violence on the news are the same ones that sit down with popcorn to "enjoy" a horror movie.

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500135)

No, watching people die has always been traumatic. That's why it makes for blockbuster movies. However, when watching a movie, you know it's fake. It's still jarring, bur your brain processes it as "not real". I suggest you learn more about psychology. There's a reason we no longer show executions live.

Re:Shocking to watch live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500177)

Very true!

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500319)

Less spectacular?

00:45 flying chunks of skull FTW

NSWF obviously

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2Bkk7pmFdU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500095)

So why the fuck watch live TV? Why even bother with cable news? Every time you look at it, your IQ drops a point.

Re:Shocking to watch live (2, Informative)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500097)

The footage is still on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouYokSytV-A [youtube.com]

It is terrible, does anybody know how to quickly remove it from the site? The video is flagged, but would Google be willing to remove it?

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500191)

DMCA. Serious here, try and file a fake DMCA if you really want to get it off Google. Or let Fox know and get them to file a real DMCA as it is their footage. I'm sure they'd like to dump it.

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500111)

It is suprising that he shot himself. It's more common for them to come out and pretend they have a weapon or if they do have one, to act as if they are about to use it against the officers. Suicide by COP is the most often used method in these cases. If you subscribe to the usual /. view then his problems, whatever they are, are over. It makes one wonder why more don't choose this way out. If this life is all there is then, when it becomes unbearably fubared, oblivion is an obvious and easy way out.

Re:Shocking to watch live (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500165)

If this life is all there is then, when it becomes unbearably fubared, oblivion is an obvious and easy way out.

There's always a chance, no matter how small, that life can get better. There's zero chance that death can improve.

Re:Shocking to watch live (2)

yotto (590067) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500293)

If this life is all there is then, when it becomes unbearably fubared, oblivion is an obvious and easy way out.

There's always a chance, no matter how small, that life can get better. There's zero chance that death can improve.

Yeah but what if your life sucks AND you're really really lazy?

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500305)

Death improves too, all that smelly rotting flesh eventually goes away and you have nice clean bones

Re:Shocking to watch live (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500123)

Was R Budd Dwyer the other one?

Re:Shocking to watch live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500181)

This might be a shocking experience (especially due to the implied "nothing bad can happen" context you're in while watching TV) but ... think how you would feel about being just 1m away from a real suicide, unable to prevent it, unable to get the sound of breaking brones out of your head, unable to get the smell out of your head and -last but not least- unable to get the picture of the utterly helpless subway operator out of your head. In other words: Get some perspective.

Nothing is about benefit for anyone else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499969)

Everything I repeat everything is about making money. There are no other goals as far as I can tell.

they knew it was possible (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499981)

... because Shepard Smith, in his apology, said they inserted a 5 second delay, which is what it's there for.

Someone not hitting the switcher fast enough was bound to happen sooner or later, given Fox's practices.

--
BMO

All things considered... (1)

EMABrad (2609103) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499989)

We baby this country. Media censorship creates a population that's oversensitive to real issues like suicide, and it leads to people being offended by things they simply don't like. To censor things like this is silliness.

Ethical Not... (3, Insightful)

kbsoftware (1000159) | more than 2 years ago | (#41499997)

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan moral compass is way off, but greed has a tendency to do that. It was not ethical to repost the suicide just a cheap very sad grab to profit from it. They could of edited the video and posted a great article with class, dignity etc. but when your moral compass is pointing towards greed well there's the results. I'll stop ranting now :)

what is sad is 1000 likes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41499999)

Sick fuckers.

This book should be going viral . . . (-1, Offtopic)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500011)

A Secret About a Secret That is Veiled by a Secret

This Machine Kills Secrets, by Andy Greenberg

-----Unauthorized Book Review-----

Privacy on the Internet can easily be a life or death proposition: whether it was Yahoo and Jerry Yang outing a Chinese pro-democracy activist to the Chinese government, the secret police of Bahrain disappearing protesters, or the extraordinarily long incarceration and sleep-deprivation torture of Bradley Manning, the outcomes can be enormous!

When events work positively, lives are saved and movements flourish in Myanmar, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

Andy Greenberg's monumental book, This Machine Kills Secrets, delivers mightily. Greenberg has exhaustively researched the story --- and the back story --- providing the reader with the ultimate bird's eye view of the unfolding story of WikiLeaks, Internet privacy and the corporate and governmental battles waged against them --- this is one kick ass book --- and Greenberg gets everything right!

This is no David Wise or Eamon Javers misinformation trope, this is the real deal, my Wolfen friends.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525953205 [amazon.com]

For those who wish to stay current, the sites below may be of interest.

I-Sites:

http://www.privacysos.org/blog [privacysos.org]
http://cryptogon.com/ [cryptogon.com]
http://www.narconews.com/ [narconews.com]
http://www.globaleaks.org/ [globaleaks.org]
http://www.cryptome.org/ [cryptome.org]
http://www.whistleblower.org/ [whistleblower.org]
http://www.exxonsecrets.org/ [exxonsecrets.org]

You can't show suicide (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500023)

in a world full of war for the purpose of promoting democracy where thousands of civilians die from the fighting or aftermath? Oh yah we don't directly see it so its ok.... Out of sight out of mind.

Re:You can't show suicide (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500153)

They don't show coffins coming home from the war any more either.

Re:You can't show suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500211)

But they don't directly show people dying. It may be implied, or there might be a dead body, but they aren't going to show a live death. Same usually goes for suicides. Especially live. It's known that sensationalizing suicides and even mass murderers can spur more. Honestly, this is only local news, and should try to be kept that way. It doesn't deserve widespread audience. This isn't war, where it's about the US in general. This is a suicide, it's local news.

Fox really messed it up this time. It's amazing how they didn't cut it, despite it being clear something was going happen, and with the delay they usually put on live feeds for this very purpose. They're probably going to get hit with a fine.

But after it was out, there's nothing that could be done. People have morbid curiousities. If I was Buzzfeed, I wouldn't have uploaded it, but someone definitely would have anyway.

I have photos of a man falling to his death in an accident at a public event. I can't bring myself to delete them, but I'm not going to share them. I'm sure there are photos out there of it anyway.

Some Middle Ground (4, Insightful)

cluedweasel (832743) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500025)

Showing a suicide live on air is, in my opinion, going to far. The feed should have been cut earlier. On the other hand, the local media in my current home town has a policy of ignoring suicides completely and there have been some which would have been reasonably high profile if anyone had known. The suicide rate here is over 3 times the national average but the issue is swept under the carpet in case it takes away from our sunny, happy image and damages tourism. My concern is that it takes away awareness of the problem and leads to fewer resources for those who feel suicidal.

Re:Some Middle Ground (5, Insightful)

kae77 (1006997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500207)

I work with youth, and so I feel your pain on this one. In my local town last year there was nearly a dozen suicides, and none of them were broadcast or publicized in any way. That being said, the research, professionally and anecdotally, shows that if you broadcast or glorify the person who has committed suicide, there will be others. Almost do a disproportionate level. Even without the broadcasting, there were copycats or others suicides that were clearly and directly linked to prior ones. It has a lot to do with developing minds, and how some teenagers have a fragile sense of self-worth. Their social setting drastically affects the way they view the world, and if all they want is to be noticed, and they see someone who has committed suicide being glorified, or even lifted above the situation, some people take action to get the same attention. It's a tricky line to walk, and one that is very much in contention. One thing to make clear though: Just because it's not publicized doesn't mean it is swept under the rug. Counsellors, friends, communities are very much involved in those who are left in the wake of a suicide, and that effort goes unpublicized as much as the suicide itself. It is a long, hard journey for everyone involved.

Re:Some Middle Ground (2)

perbu (624267) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500219)

According to an episode of This American Life suicides often inspire other suicides except in situation where it has somehow gone wrong and has led to a gruesome death or mutilated corpse or something similar. In Norway, where I live, there is a policy of not commenting on suicides if it can be avoided. So, whenever a random 18 year old boy or girl kills him/herself it goes without notice in the media. If a minister kills himself it is of course reported upon. I think the media in your town has gotten it right.

Sticks and stones may break my bones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500225)

It seems we've finally found something that is "going too far." That after the other 600-comment thread mostly talking about freedom of speech, and how it's an absolute value, and must be defended at all costs, and especially offensive speech. In fact the offensive speech should be broadcast again and again, just to really make sure people got the message.

Of course, this'll be followed by responses saying that "Well, that was different." Different in speech that you're not personally offended by should be test cases for free speech, and even condemning the speech is tantamount to banning it, whereas people that broadcast speech that you're offended by should be socially shamed.

How long before executions are shown live? (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500055)

How long before executions are shown live?

Re:How long before executions are shown live? (2)

theskipper (461997) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500189)

Dunno, I sent that exact question to foxnewstips@foxnews.com yesterday but haven't received a reply yet.

Guess they're still thinking it over.

Re:How long before executions are shown live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500233)

Why not? The commercial value alone tells us what to do.

Keyword: recall

news porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500067)

At least FOX apologized - in Greece it was in most channels (we are not so sensitive about that kind of stuff as you are in USA).
But yes... that kind of stuff, while are indeed "news", it's better to be aired in the "news porn" time zone!

After 9/11, why the fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500073)

We saw thousands of people die in the towers that day, live on TV. Is a single individual with a gun really worse?

FOX Did It Deliberately (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500081)

And it wasn't Smith's fault. _All_ live feeds are supposed to have at least a five second delay, which is under control of the production crew. This is to prevent just these kinds of incidents. Also, Merkins don't like nipples, so it prevents those showing as well.
    If the five second delay fails, you don't get the live feed out of the console- you get nothing.
    Yes the signal can be routed around the delay, but that takes an intentional act.
    Smith, who is just about the only reasonably ethical on air FOX personality, is taking this hard.

It's All Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500085)

Just so long as they didn't air a video which is offensive to Muslims. Then the President would be arresting them and demanding the video be taken down.

"The future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of islam."

Second Airliner (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500119)

So they shouldn't have shown the second airliner striking the other tower on 9/11? Clearly it could have happened since it happened before, so they should've seen it coming and cut away. It was a suicide AND a homicide.

Get off it, people. Much as I dislike Fox News car chases get aired and people do unfortunate things. Covering things live and being caught by surprise happens. THIS. IS. REAL. NEWS.

Fox could and DID know what they were airing. (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500139)

Those 10 seconds delays aren't electronics lag.

Re:Fox could and DID know what they were airing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500217)

Those 10 seconds delays aren't electronics lag.

Geez, it's not like it was a nipple or something. This was Jack Bauer stuff and it's A-ok because everyone likes 24.

What is so bad about showing suicides? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500167)

What is so bad about showing suicides?
It does not even sound like they showed it insensitivly, it was just footage of the event (it is not like the anchor was yelling "do it").

As long as they didn't influence it, it's OK (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500179)

The question is whether TV directly influenced the suicide. That doesn't seem to have been the case here. This was apparently a failed crook who didn't want to go to jail.

It would be different if someone was attempting suicide to get attention, as in threatening to jump from a building, and that was covered on live TV. Then coverage would directly affect the odds of someone jumping.

Gawker (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500185)

Gawker is utter trash. Nobody should ever read or link to any of their sites.

Fox DID know what the guy was about to do, but... (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500197)

But Fox couldn't have known that it was about to air a suicide.

Yes, they absolutely could, and did. A five-second delay was added when the guy got out of his car (why then and not before, and why it wasn't a one-minute delay, I don't know) but for reasons unknown it was, apparently, the in-studio monitors that got the delayed feed instead of the viewers.

Want to avoid this in future? Put a one-minute delay in - at least then it will be obvious if you've mis-switched it. My impression of American news hints that this happens often enough that it wouldn't be unreasonable to have a special circuit added for this sort of thing. Then you've also got the added advantage of not struggling to narrate events as they happen - the gallery can clue you in on what's coming up, and you can even advise sensitive viewers to look away if something surprising but non-fatal happens.

Of course, you could always try not appealing to lowest-common-denominator literal car-crash television in the first place.

<satire>PS Imagine how much worse the outrage would be if the guy had waved his wang at the helicopter.</satire>

FoxNews shows reality - apologizes immediately (5, Funny)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500209)

Ironic, isn't it?

Re:FoxNews shows reality - apologizes immediately (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500323)

Given how fast and loose the other networks are as well, not really.

Highly doubtful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500213)

There have been lots of sites that show death pictures and videos. In other parts of the world having news display that kind of content is acceptable. The u.s is the only place that sugar coats the news and displayed a really biased view on things. It Maximizes truth-telling and shows a kind of realism about the world.

link? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500221)

I this were reddit, the link to the video would be top post.

Re:link? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500287)

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=036_1348892736

News for Nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500231)

Setting the bar low again. Talking about people posting live footage on youtube (it got a bunch of likes!) - The fact that it's a suicide is nothing special. Really. Quit posting garbage like this on /. - Thanks.

"Cut awkwardly to commercials" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500243)

I think this bit is kind of funny in a morbid way - "This suicide brought to you by MetLife insurance".

switch setup wrong?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500251)

this kind of thing should be on a err "positive action" switch were the person has to keep the button pressed to enable the feed (maybe a pair of switches wired in parallel to allow for the guy to switch hands??). This way if he goes WTF?!!?? his natural body movement will disable the feed.

and Buzzfeed should be served with a DCMA notice for violating the Copyright of Fox News.

The benefit? (1)

LiroXIV (2362610) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500253)

The benefit is that it gives us proof that Fox News is constantly making dumb editorial decisions. They are performing a public service, mainly because people enjoy watching the mass media goof up, especially if it involves Fox News.

Yeah hide real life and death from people... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500255)

Now that's or MSM..... Not news. So they apologize when they accidently show something real

A Suicide Goes "Viral" On the Internet? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500263)

Wouldn't the headline mean that after seeing the live feed, the viewers would start killing themselves in live feeds of their own? Anyway, I hope the ad after the newsflash was for headache pills. You know, context ads...

The problem are the people that watch people die (1)

someones (2687911) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500289)

The problem are the people that watch people die.
If you really want to sea people die, i guell there is enought material on the net for them to fap to.
This discussion should not be about: whats worse: airing the suicide or reposting it, but about: why do people like to watch others die...

Why would you want to show a live car chase feed? (1)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500295)

What possible good could come out of that? At best it's hugely uninteresting, at worst it glamorises criminality. Glad we don't have that on TV over here.

This would be no big deal in Europe (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500311)

I watched the unedited footage, it wasn't that bad. In Europe they show traffic accidents in all their horror, burned bodies and all.

I just don't get why this is such a big deal. I loath Fox News because they're the propaganda arm of the GOP, not because of something trivial like this.

They were lucky. (5, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500325)

I could have been much, much worse it could have been a woman exposing her breasts after she got out of the car. Then Fox News would be in real big trouble.

What the hell is wrong with you people.... (1)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500329)

First, let me start by saying that from reading the comments so far, a vast majority view this as something trivial and meaningless.
Second, there is the group that finds much humor in it
(don't get me wrong, humor is appropriate when dealing with issues emotionally due to attachment, but I am sure the majority of us are in no way "attached" to the people affected).
Third, comes the question of should it have been aired or not? I would say yes, if not for any other reason than that of showing the frailty of humanity, and its emotional states.

When did we lose the capability to sympathize with the families of those affected? When did we become a society completely incapable of empathy? Have none of us ever been pushed to a breaking point? My guess is the majority of neckbeards on this site would show many of us to be something much more fragile than internet tough guys.

Someone reached a breaking point, did something bad, and gave up. It is horrible, and we have all been in a position similar, and while all of us here exist because we didn't give up, we should show no superiority over those that do. If not for the sake of the families involved or the person who suffered to a point they felt had no return, than for the sake of our own humanity.

Copycat suicides (0)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500331)

Well seeing as how it was Fox News, whose viewership is primarily composed of social conservatives and evolution deniers...I find that I am not too upset at the prospect of a few copycat suicides...

Vid or didn't happen (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#41500345)

Seriously, I was expecting at least 5 people posting the link by this time. Internet, I've known you wrong.

i saw this when it was called "shock and awe" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41500347)

and every western news agency was cheering on as the bombs dropped without a single care for the thousands killed and maimed for every fireball you saw on your screen.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?