Ashley Billasano‘s Twitter account apparently no longer features some of the more harrowing tweets that she posted before her suicide earlier this week. It’s not clear who had them removed. But the impact of her death remains, and many people are still wondering how someone with 500 followers could be so open about her plans to kill herself, while no-one did anything to try to stop her.
Those followers are not to blame for Ashley Billasano’s death, of course. The blame lies elsewhere. But the case reminds us that those Twitter followers, even those Facebook friends, aren’t really there for us when we’re in the most need of help. Billasano might as well have had 500 million followers for all the good it would have done her.
Yet there’s a curious mix of guilt and anger regarding Ashley Billasano’s death. Some people are angry that no-one stepped forward to help her, others are sad that nothing could be done for a girl who seemingly found that the only people who would listen to her talk about her problems were people who weren’t really there in the first place.