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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links