Death in cyburbia

From Guardian Unlimited:

A hundred visitors to an internet chatroom last month witnessed a Shropshire father of two hang himself in front of his webcam. Some of Kevin Whitrick’s fellow chatters must have imagined he was play-acting, but others were happy to goad him into killing himself. As Whitrick’s face turned purple and he began to die, one chatter punctured the heady atmosphere by wondering: “Is this real?”

Whitrick’s final moments tell us something important about what the internet has become. In this brave new world of the web, even suicide can be an interactive performance egged on by a crowd of eager spectators.

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