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French authorities investigate suicide broadcast via Periscope

Engadget Engadget 12/05/2016 Richard Lawler
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In anotherintersection of internet livestreaming and tragedy, French police are investigating the suicide of a teenager that was apparently broadcast on Periscope. The New York Times reports that a 19 year-old woman threw herself in front of a train at the Égly station (25 miles south of Paris) Tuesday afternoon, at the end of five streaming sessions totaling nearly two hours. French paper Metrosays she told viewers they would "see something" around 4PM. During the broadcasts, a viewer asked if she was going to kill herself, and she responded "No," but also said nothing could make her get up in the morning. Prosecutor Éric Lallement said in a statement that she sent a text to a close friend, saying that her actions came as a result of evil, in the form of violence and rape, inflicted upon her by an ex-boyfriend.

Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, told Buzzfeed that the content had been reported and removed, although the prosecutor said his office is trying to obtain video of the incident from the company. Clips have been republished elsewhere, reportedly including segments where emergency workers are reaching the victim under the train. Its content policy does not explicitly mention self-harm or how to report suspected incidences, but says the service is "intended to be open and safe."New York Times, USA Today, Metro News, Buzzfeed

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