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Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and a Young Man's Death

Why I hold Facebook's founder complicit—at least in part—for the suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi.

In 1998 while working as a reporter in Oregon, I wrote about the rising trend toward younger, more violent criminal offenders. "We've been warned that we are going to be dealing with a whole generation of kids without a conscience," said Maj. Larry Rowan, the county jailer. "The basic stuff we were all born with, that makes you feel bad when you do wrong—they don't have it."

I thought of that comment after hearing about the suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi. The Rutgers University freshman jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, 18, and friend Molly Wei, 18, reportedly secretly filmed Clementi engaging in a sexual encounter with another male.

Ravi then allegedly posted a link to his Twitter account, providing a live feed from the hidden web-cam. Twitter accounts can and often are linked directly to Facebook pages, granting access to friends and gawkers near and far.

Shortly before his death, Clementi posted a message to his own Facebook ...

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