Update: Reddit Suicide Lawsuit Is a Hoax

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NEXT
 

Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, I disagree with limiting it for this, hate speech, or any other reason. There are positive and negative aspects to everything, and in general the cost of an occasional incident like this one is well worth the benefits. I do not like the idea of including "exceptions" to the right to speak freely.

That said, you have to understand that claims of commiting suicide are oftentimes pleas for attention more than anything. It's easy to look at a situation like this retroactively and say "wow, this was wrong" due to someone actually killing themselves, but it entirely overlooks the very annoying tendency of people to claim that they are considering self destruction as a way of getting attention and inspiring pity.

To be entirely blunt, while it doesn't match every situation, most people who commit suicide don't generally walk around saying "I'm going to do it", typically they are spotted by massive mood changes, ending with a degree of peace, and behaviors like giving away their worldly possessions and acting in a fashion that shows them as having little or no concern for the future. In general nobody is going to be able to stop someone who is REALLY intent on offing themselves, which is why in many cases someone who wanders around with a giant "I'm going to kill myself, stop me" sign is actually looking for attention.

There are also cases of faux-suicide, like the person who downs a bottle of pills (slow acting, and capable of being pumped out of the system) knowing that there is help nearby, or people who get into a bathtub a short time before they know someone else will be around and slice their wrists the wrong way.

As I've said before in response to other situations (and yes I know I'm liable to get flamed/trolled again) the whole Internet "an hero" schtick exists for a reason. I typically won't heckle someone who is claiming they want to kill themselves, but at the same time I'm not going to give them any attention either (speaking for myself) it takes more than a declaration of intent by some guy on the Internet who I don't know to make me take it seriously, since the guy could be sitting there with a real-life case of troll face listening to people respond and get all worked up, and truthfully the odds of that are probably greater than the person actually offing themselves.

I do however understand the reason why people get annoying enough to say "shut up and do it already" given all the attention seeking emos out there. Truthfully I have to wonder how many of the people who responded negatively in this case did so from having been burned in the past by taking attention seekers seriously before their true colors were revealed.

As silly as this might sound, my advice for those that feel horrible depressed is to take Saint John's Wort. I won't say it works miracles but it helps a bit, I tend to work it in withmy own medication from time to time (and yes I've spoken to doctors before), placebo or not (debatable) it seems to help a little, and this is coming from a guy that actually does grapple with severe depression. That's about the closest to commentary in situtions like this that I am likely to make unless I know someone more than "this guy I might see in message forums once in a while".

Cobalt Lion:
Well good. I hope the defendants lose their case. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and must be punished harshly and publicly.

I think you should be sued for wishing for them to lose their case. Now if they lose, you're responsible for it. You're also responsible for any social and financial troubles their families, individuals who were probably completely oblivious to these events are subject to.

Also, because I'm responding to you, you're responsible for all the actions I take from here on out. If I go kill myself because of reading your post, it's your fault, and my family can sue you for it. Maybe instead I'm upset and I go binge on McDonald's, get fat, and die of heart disease in 20 years, it's your fault and you should be held accountable.

None of this is my fault, by the way, I'm not responsible for my actions. You, however, are now.

That's what you want, right? Hope you can pay the legal fees and my medical bills, cause I'm on my way to get a dozen Triple Baconators as we speak and it's all your fault. Hey Escapaist, do you want to give me Cobalt Lion's personal info now so I can just get all the bills sent directly to him/her?

thomaskattus:

blackriderrom:
Trolling is a right.

Being an asshole is not a right.

freedom of speech is a right, and it entails being an asshole

Suddenly that law in Arizona doesnt look quite as stupid.

though in all reality, I dont know what is going to happen other than reddit saying they banned the people from posting and issuing a public note that they do not condone this type of behavior and they are very disappointed in the people that did. the ex wife will bear all of the liability.

Hammartroll:

thomaskattus:

blackriderrom:
Trolling is a right.

Being an asshole is not a right.

freedom of speech is a right, and it entails being an asshole

which is exactly why you can be sued for the distress a death threat causes you and likely how these people will be sued since theres a clear and evident result.

BlakBladz:
This is interesting actually.

I believe that a human's life is only worth it's actions.
A man who kills himself isn't worth anything, and neither are people who provoke others. I hate jerks with a passion, online and in 'real life'...but I really can't pick a side here.
I do hope they get their comeuppance, and he's dead so there's nothing to worry about.

a man who commits suicide may not be commiting suicide becasuse he is sad but because he thinks he is sad, people who have everything going good for them can commit suicide because of their brain having something wrong with it.

Hammartroll:

thomaskattus:

blackriderrom:
Trolling is a right.

Being an asshole is not a right.

freedom of speech is a right, and it entails being an asshole

No being an asshole is a personal choice and you can choose not to be one. It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.

Ergh, I hate when things like this pop up.
Both sides were fucking idiots, someone on the internet should know not to make threads like that from the start, you don't talk about something that serious on a public board that large, you talk to individuals, not a crowd.
On the other side reddit is just as stupid for instigating it, but it's not a reddit related issue, it's an internet related issue in general, if it was any large sort of forum-esq board it would've been the same result but put another name inserted where reddit would be.

It is a crime to advise someone to commit suicide. The internet is new and so are things like facebook and other social media. There is a problem we will face as new laws have to be made to deal with the new virtual world. Should these people be held accountable for their actions? Does being on the internet mean your not accountable for what you say? Is it really your right to be anonymous on the internet? Their are many questions and problems that need to be answered and as said as this is maybe it will prompt action on dealing with them.

It's always interesting reading Escapist threads about a crime(?) that's been committed. It's like some primal spirit emerges in a percentage of the forum that demands blood.

Anyway, it's sad that the guy is dead and all, but I don't think people on Reddit, or his wife should be punished. His wife sounds like a bitch, but I don't think she genuinely wanted him to kill himself, it's just speech. The Redditers were huge dicks, but it's not a crime to be a dick.

McMullen:
Unfortunate death... check.

Community outrage... check.

Knee-jerk call for hastily-considered legislation... check.

Erosion of freedom... continuing.

If these people can be held responsible for causing a person's suicide, then so can landlords, banks, spouses, significant others, family members, schoolmates, or anyone else who can give a person a bad enough day that they make it their last.

Were these people assholes? Yes. Were they responsible for the man's death? No. The man was responsible for his own death. Suicide is a choice, and though the assholes contributed to the outcome of the choice, they cannot be held responsible for another man's choice. In a world gone as insane as some people here want it to be, if I was feeling spiteful enough I could just off myself and blame it on whoever I'm pissed at, and it would work.

Look, let's keep some perspective here. You're making the same mistake people often make with sensational deaths. If thousands die every year because of smoking or fatty foods, no one really gets worked up about it. If a couple thousand die in an unprecedented and so far unrepeated incident because of terrorism, then we panic so thoroughly that we start tossing out individual freedoms. Same insane principle at work here. Why don't you ban smoking for the sake of those thousands of people a year before tearing down internet privacy for the sake of the handful of people in an entire decade who, at the suggestion of trolls, take their own lives?

This. I can't emphasize this more - this entire post sums it up. Trolls and morons will always exist, but it's not that type scum that caused this man to end his life. Cruelty will persist and succeed in humanity's course regardless of what they do to try and stop it, but it's the shit we put up with daily that never gets blamed. Not to mention, the man supposedly received far more support than trolling, so as much as I hate to say this, as an adult, he should have had a bigger skin than to spot out a specific bunch of retards and head toe to toe with them whilst contemplating suicide. Especially on a place where crude sarcasm runs rampant.

See my view is this:

1) We don't know the whole story. Why did his wife say, "Fuck off an die already"? Was the man abusive? Prone to pulling this shit? "If you don't take me back I'll kill myself?" We don't know. This article is extremely one sided and I gurantee his sister will not say anything honest about any negative actions the man in question may have done. (and he might have done nothing, again we don't know)

2) If anyone should be blamed for this, the sister should look long and hard and ask herself, "why didn't I see this coming?" Most of the time when people are suicidal they drop hints. This lawsuit reeks of oppurtunistic money grabbing and guilt avoidence to me.

I want to know the entire story before I pass judgement, and I get the feeling the plaintiffs don't want the whole story out there...

The way he acted before hand showed that he had a certain mindset right before hand : http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/qoixk/a_lot_of_trolls_tonight/c3zcqay?context=3

If anything he shouldn't have gone to R/MR and should've gone here if anywhere on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/SuicideWatch/
Even reddit has its compassionate sides :\

blackriderrom:
Trolling is a right.

No being an asshole to your fellow human beings is not a right, attempting to get a person to commit suicide it not a right.

blackriderrom:

That aside, he was already intending to kill himself. And Reddit, like 4chan, has the kind of community that would easily tell you to blow your brains out. That should be obvious to anyone who frequents those places. The same applies to high school bullies, gang members and whatever other real life spiteful people you can think of, but you don't see them being sued for acting like they usually do.

Except that yeah high school bullies, gang members, and other people who do this sort of thing get sued all time and occasionally arrested. Just saying "well that's how they are" is not an excuse, these people online need to be aware that their actions online have real-world consequences and be held accountable for such.

Threeseventyfive:

blackriderrom:
snip

^^^ THIS

It is a tragic story, but the Reddit users are not at fault for his death.

Doesn't "freedom of speech" mean anything anymore?

Actually their comments likely fall afoul of the tort of Intentional infliction of emotional distress and thus are exempt from free speech protections in the United States. For the same reason you can't yell fire in a crowded theater you can't yell jump towards a suicidal man. Whether or not the Reddit users were at fault for his death we don't know, that's what the suit will attempt to prove. So yeah they may well in fact be held accountable for their actions.

As for my opinion; I think what those people did is wrong and I don't think they should be able to hide behind the shield of anonymity, I think they should be held accountable for their actions and be brought up on civil or criminal charges. What they did is inexcusable

blackriderrom:
Trolling is a right.
If you're the kind of person that gets offended by an anonymous comment (expecting anonymous comments to be anything but offensive), you seriously have white people problems. Learn to shrug it off and deal with it. The Internet does not care about your drama and feelings, nor will it ever. No amount of legislation is ever going to change that. (It might make it go away if it forces all conversation to be unbearably polite, in which case people would simply troll more subtly, but with the same meaning.)

That aside, he was already intending to kill himself. And Reddit, like 4chan, has the kind of community that would easily tell you to blow your brains out. That should be obvious to anyone who frequents those places. The same applies to high school bullies, gang members and whatever other real life spiteful people you can think of, but you don't see them being sued for acting like they usually do.

.. What? I am confused by your statement on white people problems, for everyone has problems regardless of gender, race, and religion (beliefs if otherwise).

Besides that, I fully disagree with you for one reason: People are real, therefore being on the internet doesn't make them cyberspace programs to treat as such. As in, it's a real person on the other side of the screen.. yet users take things so far that if it was done in real life, it'd be flat out discrimination if not hate crime.

You have a right to be a troll, but there are consequences for such actions. Even if you are never caught, nor punished in anyway for trolling someone.. I think you'd have to feel awfully bad for being the cause of someone killing themselves. Would you be alright with that, I mean.. telling someone to go ahead and kill him/herself because you find it fun to tease only to find out they are dead now? You've influenced the person with negativity, and I personally believe you hold some responsibility to that loss.

Just because someone was already planning on killing themselves, doesn't mean there's a need to encourage that. And why must the internet be cruel to people? Who says that websites have to target people because.. they just can? This website has plenty of intelligent people who are civil and care for others. Sure, there are some who don't care and are irrational towards a majority.. but we don't have to accept that. We can change that, for the internet has no rules (well websites have rules, and laws.. but I am talking about the 'trolls will be trolls, deal with it' theory. That can change if people refrained from teasing people regardless if they don't believe they'll actually kill themselves.)

This is what upsets me. I'm okay with people thinking he shouldn't of been offended by the internet, and that they believe the users shouldn't get sued. But what bothers me is that some of these points in favoring the users going free is that people will never care about others. That's not true at all.. for I, and others I know, do indeed care. Why else am I quoting you right now defending someone who died? Because I care, and I think people should care. If they choose not to care, fine.. but then does that excuse their behavior on harassing or bullying people online? I don't think it does, and that deserves to be justified. So if the users are caught for what they've done.. I say job well done justice.

Oh my.

It seems that everyone in this thread is edgy as fuck.

I am a lawyer and this lawsuit is absolutely insane. It should (will) be thrown out very quickly.

There is no legal basis for the theory that a bunch of internet trolls could be found liable for the death of a suicidal poster. There is no negligence, no tort (please do not cite the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress, as the test for that is very clearly not met here).

It is perfectly legal to be an insensitive jackass on the internet.

Totally ridiculous case and the lawyer advancing this batshit theory should be ashamed.

Apparently, "suicide must be proven to have been an involuntary act of the victim in order for the family to be awarded monetary damages by the court." Clearly, by the guy posting that he had intent to commit suicide makes it voluntary. Is it even against the law to tell someone to commit suicide? And also, Reddit labels itself as a free speech community. Does the ability to freely speak allow the users to be at no fault?

Yes, they're dicks, but I don't really think they're at fault. Besides, the man willingly posted on REDDIT that he wanted to kill himself. Any response from it is possible, including encouragement to kill himself.

80Maxwell08:

I would right now but I'm not an idiot I fully know what will happen. Not to mention since I still have a military ID it has a lot of my dad's info on it that I don't want posted here. Besides I would be the only one here who would do that making the gesture pointless. I think of the internet as extending myself not putting on a false identity. Everything I say here I would say in real life. Believe me or not it's your choice here but I'm not going to piss my dad off by posting his info along with mine just to prove a worthless point.

This makes you a hypocrite. You say you don't support people being anonymous and then list reasons why your anonymity is somehow special.

Anyway, most of the comments in this thread are stupid. Only one person is responsible for this guy throwing himself off a balcony, no other person is in any way accountable at all.

thomaskattus:

Hammartroll:

thomaskattus:

Being an asshole is not a right.

freedom of speech is a right, and it entails being an asshole

No being an asshole is a personal choice and you can choose not to be one. It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.

It seems you have a different concept of freedom. Where I come from we have freedom of speech because we have freedom of choice, they're one in the same thing, I have the choice to say what I want (barring death threats and screaming fire). Being an asshole has everything to do with freedom of speech. If I can say it, I have the freedom to say it and the government can't stop me.

Hammartroll:

thomaskattus:

Hammartroll:

freedom of speech is a right, and it entails being an asshole

No being an asshole is a personal choice and you can choose not to be one. It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.

It seems you have a different concept of freedom. Where I come from we have freedom of speech because we have freedom of choice, they're one in the same thing, I have the choice to say what I want (barring death threats and screaming fire). Being an asshole has everything to do with freedom of speech. If I can say it, I have the freedom to say it and the government can't stop me.

Just because you have the freedom to be an asshole, does not mean that you should be an asshole. Whatever happened to being a decent human being? Or did your parents not raise you with any sense of right and wrong?

I am not a big enough piece of human garbage to actively encourage another human being to kill himself. That being said there is no way those people should be held accountable. This guy has already demonstrated that he was going to kill himself, no one can prove he wouldn't have had those people not "encouraged" him to. Sounds like the sister is just looking for someone to blame, well she should be blaming her brother and any close family or friends who suspected but did nothing.
Hopefully the case won't get very far.

thomaskattus:

Just because you have the freedom to be an asshole, does not mean that you should be an asshole. Whatever happened to being a decent human being? Or did your parents not raise you with any sense of right and wrong?

Of course people shouldn't be dicks, as that makes them, well.... dicks. This doesn't mean being a dick should be a crime though does it.

I know I'm going to sound like an insensitive bastard, but it's his own fault.
He wanted to kill him self, they said go on. He would have done it even without them. And if not, he should have been locked up in a mental facility for being that easy to manipulate.

Also, if I cared every time someone on the internet said he's going to kill him self, I would be already crazy. At least once some idiot will say how he's going to kill him self just to get some attention.

So he's either an attention whore and deserves the hate, or he is really going to kill him self and everything said to him doesn't do shit.

EDIT:
Just to clarify, I don't encourage such behavior. I'm just saying that it's the whole world should burn if those guys are convicted because being an asshole is not a crime.

Threeseventyfive:
Doesn't "freedom of speech" mean anything anymore?

Of course it does, anyone can say whatever they want.

But when it comes to telling someone to kill himself, and he does, it's different.

If I call you an ignorant bastard, that'll be okay, if you have the right mind.

If I motivate you to shoot yourself when you're considering it, I'm causing real harm to you.

Jesus this is stupid.

You see, there's this thing on the internet. It's called anonymity. When someone posts something, like let's say a suicide letter, you don't really know if it's someone actually suicide or some douche trolling/trying to get attention. Really, most suicidal people aren't insane, they're depressed. I wonder what he expected people on the internet to say. He even returned to post again. Personally i would have ignored a post like this, but some people are just idiots and get lured into these types of threads believing the poster is a troll.

And now everyone is screaming down with the first amendment. The internet is not like anything we have ever seen before. You don't have to read anything on the internet. It's not like school bullying in real life where you HAVE to meet the person every day. He didn't have to go on Reddit, and if he really wanted to he didn't have to start such an inciteful post.

There's no lawsuit here. He wasn't forced to hear anything the people on Reddit were saying, he chose it himself. All of this debacle was his choice. No one on the internet was forcing themselves on him. Hell, according to the OP a good chunk of people were trying to help him out.

Also apparently he has a disabled daughter. He killed himself leaving behind a disabled daughter.

I'm sorry but i don't like the guy.

They should just delete suicide threads before they flooded with things like things.

No, they should not be held accountable, nor shoud Redditt give up their names.

Sure, what they did was terrible, but it was not a crime. He went to the site with intentions of suicide, they merely helped drive him further to it. I agree that what they did is a pretty cruel thing to do, but they still broke no laws in doing so. It would suck all the same to lose our rights due to well-intentioned reasons as it would to asinine ones.

Sis:
These people were perhaps directly responsible for him taking his life. Getting Reddit to give up their information is the right thing to do. They definitely do not have to be allowed to be able to hide behind their anonymity.

They weren't responsible for his death, but they WERE responsible for kicking a man while he was down.

Aerosteam 1908:

Threeseventyfive:
Doesn't "freedom of speech" mean anything anymore?

Of course it does, anyone can say whatever they want.

But when it comes to telling someone to kill himself, and he does, it's different.

If I call you an ignorant bastard, that'll be okay, if you have the right mind.

If I motivate you to shoot yourself when you're considering it, I'm causing real harm to you.

but how can you know if somebody's seriously considering what you say? You CAN'T know that online

I'm calling horseshit.

The tiny number of anonymous people on Reddit didn't contribute to his death. He was almost-definitely already going to do it, 8 guys out of hundreds aren't going to change anything with some empty faceless words. If they are, then frankly, I still wouldn't blame them, since at that point the dude is just acting childish.

thomaskattus:

Hammartroll:

thomaskattus:

No being an asshole is a personal choice and you can choose not to be one. It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.

It seems you have a different concept of freedom. Where I come from we have freedom of speech because we have freedom of choice, they're one in the same thing, I have the choice to say what I want (barring death threats and screaming fire). Being an asshole has everything to do with freedom of speech. If I can say it, I have the freedom to say it and the government can't stop me.

Just because you have the freedom to be an asshole, does not mean that you should be an asshole. Whatever happened to being a decent human being? Or did your parents not raise you with any sense of right and wrong?

I act like a decent human being to others because I want them to treat me the same, not because I fear legal repercussion otherwise. Indeed my parents did teach me well, which is why I don't need the government to tell me how to act and I don't need them to protect me either because I actually understand that assholes can't bother me if I don't let them (i.e ignore them)

80Maxwell08:
I'm going to be honest here. I hate anonymity. That is what leads to this kind of crap. If people's real names were used on these things then maybe they would think twice before telling someone to off themselves. If a bill went through that said people couldn't be anonymous on the internet anymore (to limits of course I'm not saying you have to show everything you do) I would be all for it.

they talk about power corrupting and absolute power absolutely corrupting but it also works with amonymity. you give people that and you get to see peoples true character and all the nasty shit they hide behind their real world society facade.

zehydra:

Aerosteam 1908:

Threeseventyfive:
Doesn't "freedom of speech" mean anything anymore?

Of course it does, anyone can say whatever they want.

But when it comes to telling someone to kill himself, and he does, it's different.

If I call you an ignorant bastard, that'll be okay, if you have the right mind.

If I motivate you to shoot yourself when you're considering it, I'm causing real harm to you.

but how can you know if somebody's seriously considering what you say? You CAN'T know that online

No, not for sure.

If someone says he's going to kill himself, you really shouldn't tell them to go do it anyway.

So, if I told someone to jump from the 8th floor of a building, either:

1. That guy is lying and won't consider it, nothing happens.
2. That guy is serious and will consider it, I just helped in the death of someone.

Seriously, why would you tell someone to off himself, hmm? Hmm!?

Reddit is a piece of shit and has the worst community ever

but this isn't why.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here