The 20-year-old user, who identified himself as Stephen, announced on a message board on the website that he was going to take his own life, and invited other 4chan users to watch in real time. He wrote, “As an oldf– who’s been on 4chan since 2004, I thought I would finally give back to the community. I am willing to an hero on cam for you all.” "An hero" is a meme synonymous with committing suicide.
Stephen showed 4chan users the text messages that drove him to suicide. Other users wrote, "Suicide by toaster," as he began, and egged him on with messages like, "Give us sound!"
The young man set up the chatroom and livestream on website Chateen, which allows a maximum of 200 people per chatroom. The chatroom was filled to capacity, with more people trying to get in to watch.
Stephen drank vodka and took pills, and set a fire inside his room before retreating under his bed. He wrote, "#imdead #omgimonfire." But Stephen did not die, at least not on video. The video captured firefighters coming into his room and rescuing him. The entire NSFW video is still available on LiveLeak.
Some 4chan users believe Stephen is a student at the University of Guelph in Canada. A newspaper article in the area reported that a 20-year-old student was injured after a fire ignited in his dorm room.