Another death has been linked to social media mega-site Facebook after a woman in Taiwan allegedly committed suicide while carrying on conversations live via the site.
Taiwanese authorities say 31-year-old Claire Lin from Taipei gave a running commentary about her plans to kill herself to at least nine people on her friend's list, but none of them contacted emergency services to prevent the tragedy. Lin lit up a charcoal grill in the enclosed space of her bedroom with the intent to asphyxiate herself, even going so far as to post a photograph of the flaming grill in her bedroom, burning next to two of her stuffed animals.
Although some of her friends begged her to stop, none of them contacted emergency services to try and help the disturbed woman. One of her Facebook friends, identified as Chung Hsin, told Lin: "Be calm, open the window, put out the charcoal fire, please, I beg you."
Lin responded with "The fumes are suffocating. They fill my eyes with tears. Don't write me anymore."
Her last online entry read, "Too late. My room is filled with fumes. I just posted another picture. Even while I'm dying, I still want FB [Facebook]. Must be FB poison. Haha."
Soon after, the woman's family reported her suicide to the authorities, but were unaware of her online conversations regarding her plans to kill herself. Apparently, Lin was distraught that her boyfriend was not on speaking terms with her and failed to visit with her on her birthday.
Chai Ben-rei, a sociologist at Taiwan's Feng Chia University, said the incident reflected social isolation in the Age of the Internet, where many people view real life events playing out as a game or a form of entertainment for the masses.
"People may have doubts about what they see on the internet because of its virtual nature, and fail to take action on it," he said.