A suicide attempt played out live on the Twitch livestream of Ice_Poseidon on Friday, with viewers watching as a man jumped off a high building in Hollywood.
In the video, popular gamer Ice_Poseidon was seen walking through a crowd and showing off some of the sights of a busy Hollywood Boulevard when he came to a building where a man was standing at the ledge. A crowd had gathered to watch, with some others filming and another discussing whether it was a prank or a real suicide attempt.
The tension appeared to make Ice_Poseidon uneasy, and he told the viewers watching that he would not turn the camera on the man.
“I think I should leave,” he said. “I think I should go.”
But as he walked away, screams could be heard from the crowd as the man jumped from the ledge to the pavement below. The video stream did not show the actual suicide attempt.
The condition of the man who attempted suicide was not immediately known.
Twitch is a live-streaming video platform that focuses largely on video game playthroughs and broadcast of eSports competitions. Ice_Poseidon is known largely for his video game streams, but also broadcasts “real life” videos like the one seen on Friday.
The video went viral quickly, with many sharing links and others describing the shock of watching the suicide attempt play out over the Twitch livestream video.
Shortly after the suicide attempt played out live on his Twitch feed, Ice_Poseidon took to Twitter to give a brief update to fans who were watching.
I don't feel good now.... I'm shaking— Ice_Poseidon (@REALIcePoseidon) March 4, 2017
Though the suicide attempt that played out on the Ice_Poseidon livestream may have been coincidental, there has been a recent trend of people broadcasting their suicide attempts and successful suicides on live video. A number have used the Facebook Live function within the last few weeks, with the disturbing trend growing so large that Facebook even prompted a response to make it easier for people to report these videos and get help to the person broadcasting them.
Katelyn Nichole Davis Suicide: 12-Year-Old Allegedly Hanged Herself, Live-Streamed Suicide On Facebook Live https://t.co/ZJAs0qpclv— tony palmer (@tonypalmer300) January 25, 2017
As TechCrunch reported, Facebook will now offer live help to the person contemplating suicide.
“Let’s say you’re watching your friend stream something via Facebook Live and they say something that worries you. You’ll now be able to reach out to the person and report the video to Facebook, which will be able to provide a set of resources to the person while they’re streaming via Live. The resources include reaching out to a friend, contacting a helpline or seeing tips and suggestions about working through difficult times.”
Some had called on Facebook to block these videos entirely once they are reported, with some experts saying the viral nature of the videos led other teens to make copycat attempts. But Facebook has continued to push back against this idea, noting that they can do more to help the person if the video stream is not cut off.
“Some might say we should cut off the livestream, but what we’ve learned is cutting off the stream too early could remove the opportunity for that person to receive help,” Facebook researcher Jennifer Guadagno said.
A video of the Twitch livestream suicide attempt can be seen here. Though it contains some tense moments and contains adult language, it does not show the suicide attempt itself.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and talk with someone either online or by phone. Information on suicide hotlines outside the United States can be found here.
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]