French police are investigating the death of a teenager who livestreamed her suicide on video app Periscope after accusing a man of rape. The 19-year-old threw herself under a commuter train in the town of Egly, south of Paris, on 10 May, while filming the incident on her mobile phone.
The footage was instantly shared on Periscope where it was watched live by about 1,000 people. Earlier that day the young woman had recorded another video message calling on her social media followers to connect to the app later for she had some revelations to make.
"The next video I am going to do is not made to generate buzz but to make people react, to open the minds," she said.
At the set time she started streaming from the train station and announced she had lost the will to live. A source close to the investigation told AFP she also claimed to be the victim of a rape and named her alleged attacker.
The clip ended with images of a firefighter, who was part of the emergency response team, picking up the mobile phone from the tracks. It has been deleted from Periscope but a version of it with the suicide blacked out as well as excerpts of the video message are still available online.
Police said they were working to clarify the circumstances of the death and evaluating the possibility of expanding the spectrum of the investigation.
The incident is that latest in a growing trend that has seen people using video apps to livestream violent acts. In April an American teenager was indicted on several charges after she used Periscope to livestream the rape of a 17-year-old friend by a 29-year-old man in Ohio.
The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone. It can be contacted throughSamaritans.orgor on 08457 90 90 90, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call charges apply.