4Chan suicide attempt: 200 people watch live stream of young man trying to set himself on fire, encouraging 'Stephen' to take his own life

University of Guelph confirms man suffered severe but non-life threatening burns

A young man has attempted to burn himself to death on a live stream watched by 200 encouraging people on the internet.

The incident took place on Saturday evening and involved a young man who identified himself only as “Stephen”.

The University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada confirmed that a fire was deliberately started in its Dundas Hall student residence by a 20-year-old student who was later taken to hospital with severe but non-life threatening burns.

Stephen is said to have logged-on to the controversial anonymous imageboard website 4chan on Saturday evening, stating his intention to take his own life. He posted that, as he’d been a long-time user of the website, he was willing to broadcast his suicide as a bizarre form of entertainment for fellow 4channers.

He posted: “Hi /b/. This is it. Tonight I will be ending my own life… As an oldfag [long-term user] who’s been on 4chan since 2004, I thought I would finally give back to the community… All that I request is for you guys to link me to a site where I am able to stream it”.

According to the Daily Dot, another 4chan user quickly set Stephen up with a broadcast on another website where 200 viewers logged-in to watch.

In the footage Stephen can be seen consuming pills and alcohol before starting a fire in his room. He then climbs under his bed as the room fills with smoke, updating his feed twice by posting “#imdead #omgimonfire” and “I’m fuck3d”.

While some users encouraged Stephen and sickeningly pondered how long he may have to live, others complained that “the smoke is obscuring the camera” and demanded still images of the suicide be immediately posted on 4chan.

Shortly afterwards, firefighters were seen arriving and dragging Stephen out of the smoke-filled room.

The University of Guelph reportedly later confirmed that a 20-year-old student had deliberately started the fire in his fourth floor residence room.

CBS reported that the student suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries and is now in stable condition at Guelph General Hospital.

Brenda Whiteside, the vice president of student affairs at the university, said two staff members were also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, but have been released.

According to Daily Dot, the university added that they were "aware that there is disturbing social media activity circulating about this incident".

A Samaritans’ spokesperson said: “In the UK it is illegal to encourage or assist a person to take their own life, be it on the internet or in any other space. Every suicide is a tragic waste of life and we would encourage anyone struggling to cope to contact Samaritans. Talking to us can help people to see their situation in a different light and, by exploring all their options, work through that moment of crisis. We are available round the clock, every single day of the year, on 08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org.” 

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or see Samaritans.org. For confidential support in the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...