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A Woman's Suicide Was Livestreamed On Chinese Social Media

The app Kuaishou hosted multiple streams that showed Li Yi-yi on a building ledge in the city of Qingyang, China. Warning: This article contains content that may be disturbing to some readers.

Last updated on June 25, 2018, at 11:23 a.m. ET

Posted on June 25, 2018, at 10:34 a.m. ET

Last week, 19-year-old student Li Yi-yi killed herself in Qingyang City, Gansu Province, in north-central China.

Li Yi-yi / Via Weibo

Last week, Li was seen on the ledge of a department store in Qingyang. Reportedly, a crowd of hundreds gathered under the building, and many of those in the crowd began livestreaming her on the Chinese video app Kuaishou.

Several of the streams were featured on the city's geotag page, including one with a banner over it that said, "1, 2, 3, jump."

Kuaishou

And another had a text overlay saying, "If you want to jump, hurry up. You're holding up the traffic."

There were also a number of videos explicitly showing Li's death across social media.

While the livestreams are no longer available, the screenshots showing Kuaishou commenters encouraging her to jump have spread on social media network Weibo, as have comments about Li's death.

weibo.com

"Just jump, what are you sitting there waiting for?"

weibo.com

"Hurry up and jump. After I watch you jump, I still gotta go pick my kids up from school."

weibo.com

"Still not jumping, it's been so many hours."

According to several Weibo posts, people on the ground also reportedly encouraged Li to jump, with screenshots showing people clapping and laughing as they looked on.

This was confirmed by the Global Times, which reported that several onlookers have been arrested for being "disrespectful to life."

The reaction to Li's death sparked debate on social media. One post on Weibo was shared more than 34,000 times, and many people criticized those who livestreamed the video and encouraged her death.

weibo.com

"What is wrong with this society? A girl jumps off the building, and the onlookers are laughing and encouraging her to do it, and other people live stream it on Kuaishou. Humanity is so ugly. The murderer is still at large, and these 'murderers' whose consciences have been eating by dogs. Rest in peace."

weibo.com

"My heart breaks, and I want to cry. The people watching are too cruel, asking why she wasn't jumping yet. I hope justice is served."

weibo.com

"Can we close Kuaishou? This is absolutely disgusting."

weibo.com

"A girl in Qingang jumps off a building and the locals are livestreaming it. Why not block the streams? Why keep pushing them out? Do you not vet your streams? @Kuaishou." ​​​​

One person who hosted a stream that attracted negative comments eventually made their Kuaishou account private, and changed their display name to "know that I did wrong so I’m changing."

Kuaishou

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Kuaishou for comment.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

UPDATE

Some images and details have been removed from this article to reflect BuzzFeed News’ editorial standards.

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