So maybe we shouldn't be that surprised by this news item today: According to the Daily Dot, a longtime user of the /b/ board, identified only as Stephen, announced on 4chan Saturday night that he intended to commit suicide on his webcam. “As an oldfag who’s been on 4chan since 2004, I thought I would finally give back to the community,” he wrote. “I am willing to an hero on cam for you all.” (Which roughly translates to, “I am willing to kill myself online.”)
Instead of deterring Stephen, a 4chan user responded by setting up a video chatroom on “Chateen” so others could watch. There, 200 viewers—the maximum amount allowed in a room—saw Stephen down vodka and pills and set a small fire under his bed. Dozens of other 4channers clamored to join in.
Here's how unreal this whole stunt was: As Stephen began to burn, he typed ONLINE, “#imdead #omgimonfire.”
Luckily (?), Stephen wasn't dead. The live stream ended with firefighters entering his dorm room in Ontario's University of Guelph and pulling him out of his fire cocoon. He's now hospitalized at Guelph General with “serious, but non-life-threatening” injuries. This hasn't stopped 4channers from claiming that Stephen (now called “Toaster Steve”) died during the webcast.
Regardless of whether Steven died or not—and he didn't—the future appears to be heading toward a really fucked-up world for mentally disturbed people with an exhibitionist side. 4chan isn't responsible for the near-death of a college kid. But the users certainly didn't stop him from trying. Weird world.