In what has to be considered an unfortunate tragedy a nurse who was tricked by two Australian radio station DJ”s into finding out more on the condition of the now pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has committed suicide.
The immediate fall out of the so called Royal Prank, aka #Royalprank hashtag on Twitter, has incited heated conversation on Twitter about the boundaries of free speech and it’s sometimes unfortunate consequences.
So how did this Royal Prank allegedly cause or was a catalyst for this nurse’s suicide? Well, two DJ’s who work for a radio station in Australia called 2DayFm named Michael Christian and Mel Greig were impersonating the Queen of Elizabeth and Prince Charles that managed to call and trick a nurse who worked at King Edward VII Hospital into finding out more details about the condition of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who had recently been hospitalized because of acute morning sickness related to her pregnancy.
The nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, for whatever reason took her own life on Friday. I have not yet found a Jacintha Saldanha Twitter account but there is plenty of people tweeting about her on Twitter today.
@2DayFMSydney: this is the Twitter account of the 2DayFM radio station whose DJ’s were involved in the prank.
The details of the story are perplexing and one would have to consider the victim of the hoax might have suffered from some form of already existing depression or previous emotional trauma. The nurse answered the prank call probably convinced she was actually talking to Prince Charles and then relayed the call through to the medical facility where the Duchess was staying.
For whatever reason the nurse apparently committed suicide on Friday. The two DJ’s have apologized for the incident and have taken a short leave of absence from their radio show. Here are some obvious questions being raised by this unfortunate event:
Was the prank the catalyst or sole reason for the nurse’s suicide?
Did this women have some underlying depression before the prank that lead to her suicide?
Or, regardless of what she had, was this prank an abuse of freedom of speech?
The incident has sparked a serious debate on Twitter about the societal rules of freedom of speech. Questions like could this prank be considered an abuse of freedom of speech and what should be the recourse for the two DJ’s involved in the incident are being tweeted right now.
Reaction to the Royal Prank story is being tweeted on Twitter right now under the following trending hashtags: