A student at National Chengchi University jumped from the roof of his apartment in the early hours of Sunday after he was allegedly bullied online.
The 21-year-old student, surnamed Huang (黃), on Friday last week posted on the university’s online discussion forum asking the public to judge a dispute he was having with a female roommate about rent.
An anonymous post on the online forum Dcard appeared on the same day, saying he was the last person to judge others, and that he was “a heavy smoker, lazy, a terrible group member for class projects and a person with a poor reputation.”
Photo: Chien Li-chung, Taipei Times
A string of comments attacking Huang ensued.
At 3am on Sunday, Huang jumped from the roof of his building, leading to questions over whether bullying had played a factor in the apparent suicide.
Police said Huang had sent a message to a male classmate just prior to jumping, which read: “If you are reading this, I am not at the hospital, I am already dead.”
After receiving the message the male classmate ran to Huang’s building, and Huang jumped after the classmate arrived to try to coax him down from the building’s ledge, police said.
Huang left a note in which he blamed the suicide on bullying, police said, adding that Huang’s family members did not offer any reason to contradict the note.
Following the alleged suicide, classmates posted on the online bulletin board Professional Technology Temple confirming that Huang had been bullied online.
One user said there was a recording uploaded to Dcard in which Huang could allegedly be heard yelling angrily at classmates during a class.
Another female user who claimed to be Huang’s roommate said that Huang last year was having emotional problems that affected his school work, but was helped with the support of a professor he respects.
Although Huang was eating only one meal a day since last month, he seemed to be more emotionally stable, the roommate said.
However, Huang began having conflict online with two new roommates, she said.
“He should not have aired the dispute online, but it is too late for us to tell him that now. People must think before they post things online,” she said.
The school said it would get in touch with students affected by the suicide, and encouraged any student who has problems to ask the school for help.
Additional reporting by Wu Po-hsuan
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