Editor’s Note: If you or someone around you is exhibiting suicidal tendencies or self-harm please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The top post on r/Drama right now, a subreddit with more than 50,000 subscribers that specializes in highlighting terrible things on the internet, is a link to a video of a man who appears to be killing himself. It’s been up for nine hours, in violation of Reddit’s own rules.
By now you’re probably familiar with this morbid script. Something abhorrent and potentially harmful that shouldn’t be on Reddit stays on the platform for days, weeks, or even months, and it’s not removed until we (or another outlet) write about it. Earlier this month, Motherboard reported that Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman was “aware” of r/nomorals, a subreddit that posted images of corpses and people harming animals. It was created in 2012 and had been considerably active in the last two months. At the time of the Motherboard story, the subreddit had almost 20,000 subscribers. After it was published, Reddit banned the subreddit.
I watched the video in an attempt to find out if it is real, or a hoax. I don’t think it’s fake, but I can’t be certain that anything in an internet video is real. Anything can be faked. I am 100 percent sure that the video is awful and has fucked up the rest of my day.
The video was originally a livestream on YouTube, and the man in it at some point holds up a piece of paper calling out /r9k/, a 4chan forum dedicated to sharing personal stories.
The video was quickly taken down from YouTube, but was reuploaded to the video hosting service Sendvid.
Reddit rules prohibit “content that encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or a group of people; likewise, do not post content that glorifies or encourages the abuse of animals.”
So far, r/Drama’s moderators have not removed it, and neither has Reddit itself, which has been historically slow in enforcing its own policy.
I am expecting the video will come down shortly after the story you’re reading is published. Either r/Drama’s moderators or Reddit itself will remove the post or its content. That does not change the fact that it was up on the site for at least nine hours, for anyone to see.
Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.