Students meet on QQ to commit suicide, court rules Tencent 10% responsible
(Netease) Lishui City, Zhejiang province People’s court reached the first instance verdict on a civil case regarding university students meeting on QQ to commit suicide. Tencent, the maker of QQ was sentenced to bear 10% of the responsibility.
The plaintiffs are the parents of the suicide student named Fan. They stated, in June of this year, accused student Zhang used QQ sending “suicide invitations” to the public with his cell phone number. Plaintiff’s son Fan accepted the suicide invitation upon receiving it. He met Zhang in a hotel on June 24 to commit suicide together. Because of the unbearable pain, defendant Zhang could not go through with the suicide plan and gave up. However Fan insisted on killing himself and ultimately died.
The two plaintiffs stated their case: defendant Zhang invited their son Fan to commit suicide via the Internet, which led the death of their son; another defendant Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co. Ltd, as a network service provider, did not delete or disable the content of “meeting to suicide” in timely manner, which caused it to spread. Therefore the two defendants should be liable for the death of Fan.
The court announced ruling after the hearing, defendant Zhang had been posting “suicide invitations” at different times and in different QQ groups without targeting specific individuals, and defendant Tencent never took any measures against the information that may be harmful to people’s lives, which resulted Fan and Zhang meeting up to commit suicide. Two defendants’ actions indirectly caused damaging consequences, should bear respective liability according to the proportion of their faults. The two plaintiffs are entitled to request compensation from two defendants who are partially liable.
The court’s first instance verdict as the following: Defendant Zhang, within ten days after the decision, is to pay an one-time compensation to the plaintiffs including 20% of the death compensation, funeral expenses and transportation cost: 101,225 yuan, and 10,000 yuan for pain and suffering, total of 111,225 yuan; defendant Tencent, within ten days after the decision, is to pay an one-time compensation to the plaintiffs, 10% of the death compensation, funeral expenses and transportation cost: 50,612.50 yuan, and 5,000 yuan for pain and suffering, total of 55,612.50 yuan.
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