Facebook 'friends' mock 'suicide' of woman who posted goodbye message

A middle-aged woman who told her 1,048 Facebook "friends" that she had taken an overdose was found dead the next day after none came to her aid.

By Peter Hutchison 8:00AM GMT 06 Jan 2011

Simone Back, 42, posted a last message on the social networking site at 10.53pm on Christmas Day saying: "Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone." Some users of the site even taunted the 42-year-old over her final status update instead of trying to save her, calling her a “liar” and saying the fatal overdose was “her choice”.

Yesterday her mother, Jennifer Langridge, said she was shocked and upset that nobody did anything for her daughter despite being aware of her threats. Mental health charities said the case was a sad reflection on today’s society where friends made online are not necessarily friends in real life.

Miss Back, from Brighton, posted a last message on the social networking site at 10.53pm on Christmas Day saying: “Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone.”

While some Facebook friends from out of town begged online for her address and telephone number so they could get help, none of those who lived closer did anything to help. Several friends taunted the charity shop worker as she lay dying on the floor of her flat. Just minutes after the post a “friend” replied “She ODs all the time and she lies.”

The same friend again dismissed the cry for help later that night, saying: “She’s not a kid anymore.” A comment from another user read: “She has a choice and taking pills over a relationship is not a good enough reason.” A total of 148 messages were exchanged between users in which they discussed the alleged breakdown of a relationship Miss Back had.

Friends of Miss Back, who lived further away, responded angrily to the comments. One wrote: “Did you catch the part about Simone taking pills? the 'bye bye’ part? Did anyone go by personally and check on Simone. or call 999? what’s wrong with you people? is the gossip really more important than her? ”

Another said: “If any of you actually call yourself friends one of you should call round and see if she’s OK.”

However, none of Miss Back’s friends did check on her. Mrs Langridge called 999 after someone finally texted her about her daughter’s online suicide note 17 hours after she posted it. Police were called to her flat in Montague Street, Brighton, at 4pm on Boxing Day where they found her body and she was declared dead an hour later.