Suicide is one of the most horrible and tragic things that can destroy an entire family. I’ve known families who had a member commit suicide and in some cases, it resulted in parents getting divorced, family and friends sinking into deep depression and in a couple of cases, it led to suicide of a couple of other people. In one case I won’t go into detail about, the mother was so depressed over the suicide death of her son that she ended up taking an overdose of sleeping pills several years later because she was unable to cope.
In every case, the one common factor was that none of the family and close friends ever wanted any kind of reminder of the suicide. They all struggled with what happened and longed to put it behind them and wish they could forget. The last thing they need is to be constantly reminded of the tragic loss of a loved one, especially that of a 12-year-old daughter.
This is what the family and friends of Katelyn Nicole Davis of Cedartown, Georgia have been trying to deal with since the young girl broadcast her own suicide online. According to her video, she claimed that she had been physically and sexually abused by a family member and couldn’t take it any longer. Then she went out to the front yard and hung herself on December 30.
What family and friends didn’t know at the time is that Katelyn’s video was streamed live online and then others began posting it on various social media sites including Facebook. When they did find out, they tried to get the video removed, but to no avail.
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Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd commented about learning of the video, saying:
“We were actually contacted by a police officer from California who saw it the night of the event.”
Since the video was posted online, Katelyn’s family and friends have asked Dodd to do whatever he could to get the video taken down from all of the websites, but they’ve been disappointed to learn that it seems like an impossible task. Dodd commented:
“We want it down as much as anyone for the family and it may be harmful to other kids. We contacted some of the sites. They asked if they had to take it down and by law they don’t. But it’s just the common decent thing to do in my opinion.”
After increased public pressure, some websites have agreed to cooperate in an effort to remove the sad and tragic video. In one report:
“[Update: In a statement to BuzzFeed, Live.me said they are “actively working to track down those videos and have them removed from Facebook and other video sharing sites.”]
At the time of writing, Facebook apparently was telling users who reported the video that it doesn’t violate their standards, and simply recommended ways users can block it from their own feeds. If you reported the video, the response from Facebook read in part:
“Thanks for letting us know about this. We’ve looked over the following post, and although it doesn’t go against any of our specific community standards, you did the right thing by letting us know about it. We understand that it may still be offensive or distasteful to you, so we want to help you see less of things such as this in the future.”
Besides the tragic loss of a young girl who still had her entire life ahead of her, the reality that so many people would repost such a gruesome video live and spreading is sign of how far America has fallen into depravity. Not that long ago, the reaction of the general public would have been of horrification, repulsion and sorrow. Today, it seems that so many, most of them of which have probably turned away from God, are enjoying watching the tragedy of young Katelyn and perpetuating the raw and searing pain being experienced by her family. Instead of laughter and smiles, we should all be shedding tears for Katelyn and her family and praying that somehow God will use this to bring many others closer to Him.