First, the latest T. T. Mitchell Consulting Newsletter, Doing The Right Thing, is now available.

That topic seems to go well with this story, because it shows what can go wrong when people don't do the right thing. A 19-year old male named Abraham Biggs committed suicide on Wednesday. He committed suicide after signing onto something called JustinTV, where one can talk live with others, said he was thinking about committing suicide, and every single person, 14 in all, egged him on to do it, while hanging out on something called It seems that none of them took him seriously, including the moderators of the forum, even when he took the pills and rolled over, but some time later people realize he was not moving, someone tracks down his details, calls police and paramedics, who then broke into his house to come to his aid. Oh yeah, that was shown live also.

The people who run the site decided not to do the right thing and offer condolences. Instead, they put out a standard message saying this:

As for the broadcaster incident last night, we don’t comment on individual videos, however, our policy prohibits inappropriate content on We rely on the community to flag videos that they feel are objectionable. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed and quickly removed from the system if it violates our Terms of Use.

This was stated by the CEO of the company, Michael Seibel. Great way to prove what kind of leader you are, isn't it? I do understand why companies would be scared to say much else, in these days of litigation and the like, but since we all know that there's going to be a lawsuit, and his company is going to lose, and some other people might be arrested and charged with some sort of assault or even be implicated for murder (it's happened before, by the way), one would think the company would have come out being a bit more contrite, offering something more sensitive than this irrational statement. Then again, on some blogs that posted this story, many of the participants who egged him to do it wrote, anonymously of course, that he deserved it because he was usually a pest. Is this what our society has come to?

There are some things you never play with in this world, and one of those is the mental state of someone else. I'm not sure what I would have done at the beginning, but I'm hoping that I would have called someone in this kid's area and asked them to check up on him sooner. In this case, he did post a suicide note also, and that's usually a bad sign. Even if the police showed up and he was just talking noise, they'd have taken him in for a psychiatric evaluation for uttering the threat in the first place. Saving a life is much better than possibly being complicit in one.

As for the people who pushed him to kill himself? Many of them have tried to delete their messages and close their accounts. Obviously they don't understand how the internet or storage systems work. There will be a subpoena, and some people are going to be dragged in front of the media for all the world to see. The CEO, by the way, must have rethought his initial statement, as the company put up a quick memorial to young Mr. Biggs. At this point, it's probably a bit too little, too late.