Sad news and Bad reactions

Some sad news in the blogosphere today.

In a striking display of the power of live video, Abraham K. Biggs committed suicide on Wednesday while broadcasting himself on video site Justin.tv. As we understand it from various forum posts, the 19-year-old Floridian was apparently egged on by commenters on Justin.tv and fellow forum users on bodybuilding.com. Biggs overdosed on pills while on camera and appeared to be breathing for hours until watchers realized he might be serious, at which point they alerted the police.

I’m going to skip over the social commentary on whether viewers were egging on Biggs, whether he (as a known troll) deserved something different, and other such issues.

No, what I wanted to point out is the horrendous response from Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel about the incident:

As for the broadcaster incident last night, we don’t comment on individual videos, however, our policy prohibits inappropriate content on Justin.tv. 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.

How does someone using your service to kill themselves have anything to do with community based moderation? Why not say something like: “I’m sorry for the Bigg family”, or “Our thoughts go out to the community on such a sad day”, or any number of other, relevant responses.

I’m hoping this is simply an out of context or incomplete quote…