Women in Taiwan Ends Life While on Facebook, Online Friends Fail to Call Police

By Ed Silverstein March 28, 2012

A woman in Taiwan ended her own life on her 31st birthday while chatting on Facebook and none of her friends contacted the police.

Local police said that Claire Lin ended her own life on March 18 by asphyxiation from fumes coming from a charcoal barbeque .Lin's conversations on Facebook showed that she let nine friends know she was getting asphyxiated. Photos showed a room she was in, filling with fumes, according to The Associated Press.

One of her friends on Facebook told her to open a window and extinguish the charcoal fire. But no one contacted authorities. It may have been that none of them had her address or telephone number but knew her only from the social media site, according to The AP. She lived near Taipei in an apartment.

Lin’s boyfriend was not with her on her birthday – leading to her sadness, The AP said. The AFP News Agency reported that the woman was concerned that her boyfriend was having an affair.

Facebook said it was saddened by the death and encourages people to help those in distress. Facebook has links to suicide prevention hotlines in about 20 countries, including Taiwan.

A police officer who worked on the investigation into her death, Hsieh Ku-Ming, said the event lasted 67 minutes, according to Ubergizmo.

In a related matter, TechZone360 reported that Facebook has launched a prevention service for those with suicidal thoughts. The at-risk person can speak immediately to a crisis counselor via a chat feature, TechZone360 said. Facebook also has an anti-bullying program.

For further assistance, online users can click this link to access a suicide prevention site or call 1-800-273-TALK. If an emergency exists, someone needs to call 911. 

Edited by Jamie Epstein

TechZone360 Contributor

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