Monday 23 April 2018

French teenager broadcasts her suicide live on Periscope

Message exchanges and the section of a train are seen on a cellphone of a young woman who appeared to record her suicide on Periscope, the mobile web application that allows users to broadcast live to their followers
Message exchanges and the section of a train are seen on a cellphone of a young woman who appeared to record her suicide on Periscope, the mobile web application that allows users to broadcast live to their followers

A French teenage girl broadcast her suicide live on Periscope via her smartphone, French judicial sources confirmed on Wednesday, in the latest controversy to hit the streaming web application.

The prosecutor's office in Evry, a southern suburb of Paris, said it had opened the investigation after the teenager threw herself onto the rails at a railway station on Tuesday afternoon and died.

"Once the first results from an examination of the victim's mobile telephone and of data from the Periscope application are known, investigators will look to establish the motive behind her act and, if that fails, widen the investigation that has been launched," said a statement from the prosecutor's office.

It said the young woman, born in 1997, also appeared to have sent a text to people close to her before she died to tell them of her intentions.

In extracts from the broadcast that appeared on YouTube, the dark-haired teenager, who appeared to have over 1,000 Periscope followers, says; "The video I will make now... is not to create a buzz, but to make people react, to open their minds and nothing else."

The 15 minute set of extracts - showing continuous messages from followers - begins with the woman talking into the camera, and ends with the camera pointing upwards at train carriages. A long middle stretch shows only messages with blackness and background noise.

Twitter, the social media site that launched the Periscope app last year, said it did not comment on individual cases, but in an emailed statement, a spokesman said: "The content is no longer on the platform."

Earlier this year, media reported the case of a 21 year-old man who appeared to have filmed his own death in a shooting at a strip club on Periscope .

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