Taiwan woman commits suicide while chatting on Facebook


None of the nine friends the 21-year-old was chatting with at the time alerted authorities to the crisis. 

A woman committed suicide while chatting with Facebook friends, police in Taiwan said. Claire Lin killed herself by inhaling poisonous fumes, and none of the friends she was chatting to alerted authorities as to what was happening.

The family members who reported her death were unaware of the Facebook chats, Taipei police officer Hsieh Ku-ming said.

Her last Facebook activity showed chats with nine friends. One photo she uploaded showed a charcoal barbecue burning in the room, while another showed the room being filled with fumes as she gradually asphyxiated.

A friend named Chung Hsin told Lin, “Be calm, open the window, put out the charcoal fire, please, I beg you.” Lin replied that the suffocating fumes were filling her eyes with tears and asked Chung not to write to her anymore.

Some of the other friends she was chatting to tried to stop her and track her down—though none called the police during the 67-minute incident.

Lin’s last words were,“Too late. My room is filled with fumes. I just posted another picture. Even while I’m dying, I still want FB [Facebook]. Must be FB poison. Haha.”

The 31-year-old killed herself on her birthday, March 18, according to the Associated Press. Posts she had made on Facebook suggested she had been unhappy because she believed her boyfriend to be ignoring her and had not returned home to spend her birthday with her. He found her body the following morning.

Facebook has measures in place to help prevent suicides. On the site’s help center, details of several suicide hotlines are listed, including contact details for the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center. Perhaps Lin’s friends were unaware of Facebook’s suicide prevention measures, though it seems disappointing that none called the authorities at the very least.

Photo by londonista_londonist

Kris Holt

Kris Holt

Based in Montreal, Kris Holt has been writing about technology and web culture since 2010. He writes for Engadget and Tech News World, and his byline has also appeared in Paste, Salon, International Business Times, Mashable, and elsewhere.