Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rutgers student leaps off bridge after webcasting of private moment



By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network


It's seemingly all out there on the Internet these days.

Sometimes it's a good thing - like the Long Island cab driver videotaping a vicious beating - the tape will be used in the prosecution of the perpetrators.

Sometimes it's not a good thing. And sometimes we do it to ourselves, like when a high school or college student pretends to be kissing her roommate - then posts it on Facebook as a lark - not realizing that as a job applicant it can be used against her.

But sometimes it can be malicious. To the point - in one horrific case - of suicide.

The latest case: the apparent suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi.

It appears that Clementi was surreptitiously webstreamed live onto the Internet by his roommate while having a private moment with another guy. And it appears it drove Clementi to suicide.

His wallet was found on the George Washington Bridge which spans the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York City. A body has been recovered. Identification is pending.

The roommate - and another student - have been charged with invasion of privacy.

Ironically, Rutgers this week kicked off a civility campaign - an attempt to guide students into treating one another with greater respect. University officials say they will now use Clementi's death as a lesson in that campaign.

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