The MySpace Suicide Fad

The MySpace Suicide Fad

Part of a series on YTMND. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 30, 2011 at 06:36PM EDT by Tomberry.

Added Jul 25, 2010 at 10:37AM EDT by Tomberry.

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Joshua Ballard and the MySpace event

Joshua Ballard AKA jloveb was a 17 years old boy from Orange County, California, who committed suicide on November the 29th 2005 by shooting himself in the head with a gun.
What would have been another tragic teenager’s death became instantly viral on the web for one simple reason : Joshua had posted a peculiar bulletin on his MySpace profile predicting that he was going to end his life several minutes before he carried out his fateful intent.

Within minutes of the young boy’s corpse being found by the mother of one of his friends alerted by the MySpace warning, several mourning groups (including the original Joshua’s MySpace account retrieved several months later by a 26 years old girl) began gathering on MySpace as a tribute.
This event also grabbed the attention of many other websites, from the day of the event to several years afterward, creating threads about it, some recounting the tragic event :

while others were mocking on it :

Y.T.M.N.D fad : MySpace Suicide

One of the first formal article talking about it was Teenager posts suicidal note on MySpace.com from December the 1st 2005.

The same day that article showed up, YTMND caught wind of it and user muzzleflash created the first YTMND site about it, entitled Myspace Emo Suicide. To these days, it has gathered more than 123 000 views.
Soon later, that same day, another YTMND site, by user cobalt, would show up and would be called Myspace Suicide.
According to the YTMND wiki, that version, which has gathered as of today more than 613 000 views, would be the one which set the standards for the ensuing fad, leading to more than 1 400 YTMND sites created.

The fad’s pattern works as follows : A parody of the original bulletin, especially the you BROKE my LIFE title, while having, for most of the YTMNDs, the Simple Plan’s Untitled [how could this happen to me] song playing in the background and featuring the “And he really did commit suicide” catchphrase from the very first site reused or parodied as well.

Here is a non-exhaustive list from the most popular YTMND parodies (sorted by views) :

At the beginning of that meme’s growing expansion, some YTMNDers doubted the official theory and claimed it was an hoax, basing it on December 1st and December 2nd sites showing that Joshua seemed connected to his MySpace account during those 2 days.
However, both the Encyclopedia Dramatica and YTMND wiki articles agree that it could have been one of the dead’s relatives doing, more than the deceased young boy himself.

Déjà vu : The case of Rachele Rudd

Joshua wasn’t the first one to use an Internet socialnetworking site to announce his dreadful suicidal plans in advance.
The first mention of that kind is from Rachele Rudd who committed suicide in November the 12th 2004 by throwing herself in the path of a freight train in Riga, New York.

While that incident was more than 1 year old at the time of Joshua’s death, people from YTMND suddenly remembered about her and began making a little amount of YTMNDs following the Fad, by reusing the dramatic brackground music and setting :

The first site was created the 16th of december 2005 and was called NEW Emo MySpace GIRL suicide by TRAIN!.
Today, it has gathered more than 198 000 views and has led to about 13 sites on that specific theme.

Sui-Chan : The Hoax

During the summer 2006, another strange MySpace girl by the name of Sui-chan posted the following on her profile :

She basically threatened to commit Hara-kiri live on Stickam on the 19th of August.
A countdown messageboard (now defunct) was even created to keep track of everything up to the expected date.
According to the ED’s article, her stickam account was deleted twice after that announcement.

While it has been caught up by some websites like Japan Probe or even Ebaum’s World, the complete absence of more official articles talking about a potential dead girl after the 19th of August tended to agree that all of it was a complete made-up hoax.

Once again, YTMND caught wind of that event, and made about 48 YTMND sites from August the 12th to August the 24th 2006, reusing the same pattern as the Joshua Ballard’s event.

The first YTMND was called Sui-chan and has gathered more than 24 000 views.

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