Reports: 4chan User Sets Himself On Fire, Streams It

Reports: 4chan User Sets Himself On Fire, Streams It

There are reports emerging – some of them conflicting – that a 4chan user known as “Stephen” tried to take his own life on Saturday night by setting himself on fire. And broadcasting the whole thing.

The Daily Dot has collected a number of posts and images from 4chan, which suggest that after stating “As an oldfag who’s been on 4chan since 2004, I thought I would finally give back to the community”, and “I am willing to an hero on cam for you all”, “Stephen” took some pills and vodka, set fire to the corner of his room, crawled under his bed and continued participating in a chat room until the end.

The Daily Dot report shows a log revealing he typed “#imdead #omgimonfire,” and “I’m fuck3d” as the fire began to consume his bed.

The video of the event shows the room filling with smoke, but “Stephen” is eventually pulled from the flames by firefighters.

It’s unclear what happened to the man after this. There are two local news reports of single males being rescued from fires on the night; one is a college student who survived, the other a man who was killed.

While it’s easy to accuse this is being a hoax, the video – which is still available online (though viewable on a NSFW site) – does show what look like emergency workers enter the room, remove the bed and carry “Stephen” out.

There are a number of suicide prevention hotlines available in the US, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Hopeline.

4chan user sets himself on fire in livestreamed suicide attempt [The Daily Dot]


  • This sort of thing is only going to increase. It breaks my heart when I see stories of people leaving suicide notes on Facebook, or uploading them to You Tube.
    They say a lot of suicide attempts are just cries for help, and non-serious attempts are cries for attention – streaming setting yourself on fire gets you one hell of a lot of attention. I can’t help but think that kids brought up in the social networking age will see online distribution as the best method of letting people know that they exist, and are unhappy, which will only fuel others’ desire to do so.
    What a fucked up world we live in, where people will watch shit like this.

    • Yes, this is a sad state of the world we live in. But to this guys’ defense, look at the world he has to live in now. What future does the youth have? Massive education debt? Massive housing debt? Shocking job security or even any job at all? Where is his future?

      The current older generations, the politicians and the banking cartels have railroaded today’s youth into an over whelming feeling of helplessness, without hope and without a future they can rely on.

      I don’t blame today’s youth for the state of the world, they are not in control of it and are not dictating terms on how they are essentially forced to survive.

      I really feel for this guy and hope he’s okay.

    • (Seriously why the fuck is this even on a gaming website?, oh its luke, …. explains it).

      Anyone who really wants to die, does it. They don’t fuck around and take “some pills” 15 minutes before someone comes home to rescue them. They go drive to an isolated place and shoot themselves or make sure no one is coming home for hours and then take not just some but 100’s of pills, enough to kill you 20x over. So yes most “attempts” are just that cry’s for help.

      Curiosity if the devils play thing. Just hearing about a secret makes you WANT to know it. The more people make reports on this the more people will view it just to see what really happened and you can not claim that somehow this very act ruins the world,so don’t blame others for this guys problems. As if people refused to watch the video or any like it, it would somehow stop this from happening.

      • I’m not sure why people still draw the distinction between “cries for help” and “really means it”. If someone is acting in a way that they’re discussing (in practical terms), planning, threatening or attempting suicide whether it’s broadcast, or whether it’s private, the attention needs to be paid. No-one is being tricked or manipulated, there is definitely something that needs to be addressed.
        There are multiple psychological conditions where the suicide victim does not intend to die but accidentally goes too far, sometimes while behaving dangerously because they no longer have regard for their own/others’ safety and sometimes vying for attention where they feel uncared for. In each case, successful attempts are still a very real possibility and should all be treated for their (very real) and very dangerous cause.

        • And Mental Health institutions take it very seriously when a person is talking in such a way – even if it is just a depressive “joke.” Allthough, I do not know what Mental Health is like in countries other than Australia. I do know, here & in commonwealth countries, it is taken seriously by the Dept. of Health.

      • I agree with your first paragraph (not including the parentheses) 100%. What I was getting at is that this sort of thing – ie self harm being blogged, shared, tweeted, uploaded – will increase so long as the amount of people who grew up with the internet does. Broadcasting to an audience via the internet is now a normal and common form of self-expression, and those who are both prolific users of social media and suicidal are going to combine the two.
        I guess what irks me about this is that there are people out there who, selfishly, self-harm for sympathy and attention. (Before anyone cross-examines this statement, yes, I have known someone exactly like this.) Seeing people online achieving a strange and weird version of fame because they’ve made a spectacle out of topping themselves (or appearing to have made a legitimate attempt to) would, I would argue, have a certain twisted appeal for people who fit that bill. Would it make them want to hurt themselves any less? Probably not. But the absence of an audience equals an absence of attention, and they may – just may – not have done it in the first place if they knew that afterwards, no-one would know about it, or care.
        The absence of an audience for videos like these wouldn’t magically make completely unconnected people happier. That wasn’t really my point. My point is, what a fucked up world we live in, where people will watch shit like this. Supply and Demand applies here, and even if people on average aren’t any happier, they may be less likely to unintentionally seriously hurt themselves or others trying to be more memorable than the guy who set himself on fire on 4chan.

        • What I find difficult to comprehend Is the fact that people want to get recognition for self harm in the first place. Couple years back I had major depression and for weeks spent most of the day sleeping as I couldn’t find anything enjoyable. I eventually started self harm as a way of coping. I took no pride and in fact was ashamed so its strange when you see these people on the Internet who like to post pictures of them cutting themselves

      • That’s why they don’t report suicides on the news, my cousin works for transperth or whatever its called and he said there’s about 25 suicides a year on the rails

    • What leads you to assume that all people who are depressed become suicidal through lack of finding a partner? That is a crazy thing to say.

      Edit: You said something along the lines of: “I don’t know why he killed himself, he is a good looking lad and I’m sure he could find a partner.” What is your concept?

      • I’m not buddy, I’m not assuming things here.

        It’s just something I noticed in this particular case, It was only a very simple observation not a means of generalising the whole thing. Think nothing of it, or better yet don’t think too much into it.

        • Oh…I didn’t see any mention anywhere of that being a factor, that’s the only reason I asked!

          Edit: I understand now (from your edited comment) that you are just a twat. 🙂

    • studies have shown that anyone who uses the term “beta’ without irony is a douche…its SCIENCE!

  • Why would you try and kill yourself by setting yourself on fire?! That’s probably the worst way to go. Not quick, full of slow burning pain. This screams of attention seeking to me unfortunately, which is just sad.

          • That’s disgusting, it actually makes me a mad that there are pathetic people out there who can trivialise something like this. A kid killed himself, another made a spelling mistake, and now they’re making light of it. It sickens me.

          • Another criticism people had was referring to someone who committed suicide as a hero.

            Just pointing that out. I have no real feelings towards it one way or the other. The Internet is a game for some, it’s as real as life for others, a business for another lot and a kicking ball to the rest.

  • Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray,
    South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio,
    Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
    North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe.

  • I thought I’d chime in and answer (to the best of my ability) “why” he would do that. 4Chan and more specifically a sub-channel of it /b/ gets a kick out of crazy, weird and/or shocking stuff especially more so when it’s material is coming from someone in their own community. The intentionally mis-spelt “an hero” is mocking a post made by a family member about a child who committed suicide a while back, so to “an hero” is to suicide. The kid essentially became immortalised through memes, jokes and references that is still on going a decade after his death. I think this “Stephen” wanted to create the same high-level entertainment that he and the community enjoyed by committing suicide and in the process become immortalised in much the same way.

    tl;dr: individual wanting to impress a community he’s apart and seeking internet immortality through memes and jokes

  • You usually die from smoke inhalation before you die from the flames. Fire has a remarkable way of not destroying nerve cells as you burn so its pretty painful.

  • That small greyed out text providing links to suicide prevention and help facilities should be in a bigger font than anything else in the article. You should also include australian contact information in a story like this.

  • I hate comments such as you have “no life” as I find it very condescending. Having said that this situation makes me suspect that Stephen had no one in his life other than his 4chan friends, and he really needed someone to take him out of that environment.

  • Jesus, the bloke reminds me of Dexter like that psychological state, I even have this weird feeling this bloke may have enjoyed burning and killing himself (if he is dead)

    Those 200 or so people who watched, it screams like minded people.

    Ugh, I need to play some games to get this story out of my head…

    • games like battlefield where you shoot to kill people and blow them up and set them on fire?

  • Seriously we have to live stream our suicide attempts now? Next time just down a bottle of sleeping pills in your own home without being an attention seeking shithead.

  • There are a number of suicide prevention hotlines available in the US, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Hopeline.

    What a helpful message to young Australians.

  • Please be careful when reporting on suicide (including attempted suicide). This article is pretty close to sensationalising this incident. I get that it’s probably a cross-post from the American site, but Australian Press Council has some very cautious guidelines and this is appearing on the Aussie site. At the very least a slightly more restrained headline and a trigger warning at the start of the article might be appropriate….

    If you’re suffering anxiety or depression in Australia, please contact

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