PARIS (Reuters) - French prosecutors have launched an inquiry after a young woman appeared to record her suicide on Periscope, the mobile web application that allows users to broadcast live to their followers.
The prosecutor’s office in Evry, a southern suburb of Paris, said it had opened the investigation after the teenager threw herself onto the rails at a railway station on Tuesday afternoon and died.
“Once the first results from an examination of the victim’s mobile telephone and of data from the Periscope application are known, investigators will look to establish the motive behind her act and, if that fails, widen the investigation that has been launched,” said a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
It said the young woman, born in 1997, also appeared to have sent a text to people close to her before she died to tell them of her intentions.
In extracts from the broadcast that appeared on YouTube, the dark-haired teenager, who appeared to have over 1,000 Periscope followers, says; “The video I will make now... is not to create a buzz, but to make people react, to open their minds and nothing else.”
The 15 minute set of extracts - showing continuous messages from followers - begins with the woman talking into the camera, and ends with the camera pointing upwards at train carriages. A long middle stretch shows only messages with blackness and background noise.
Twitter , the social media site that launched the Periscope app last year, said it did not comment on individual cases, but in an emailed statement, a spokesman said: “The content is no longer on the platform.”
Earlier this year, media reported the case of a 21 year-old man who appeared to have filmed his own death in a shooting at a strip club on Periscope.
Reporting by Andrew Callus, Gerard Bon and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Richard Lough