Developer Rachel Byrk Commits Suicide After Months of Cyber Bullying

On April 23 prominent game developer Rachel Byrk committed suicide following months of cyber-bullying telling her to jump from a bridge. Byrk, suffered constant abuse for being transgendered from the gaming communities she was a part of.

Before her death she made huge contributions to the Gamecube and Wii emulator community. Doing work for Dolphin to improve the system all around.


Someone close to Rachel Bryk states ongoing health issues being the cause, though also not negating online harassment may have contributed to this decision.


Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
crazychris41242239d ago

Hunt them down and lock them up, damn bullies

Thatguy-3102239d ago

Even though bullying is bad I just don't understand how people go to the extent of killing themselves from online bullying. It's online so one can just ignore it and brush it aside. I always tell myself that as soon as you go online you should have thick skin from the get go since everyone can do and say what they want. Dealing with online haters shouldn't require a lot of energy. It's sad that she felt the need to do what she did because of online idiots.

lashes2ashes2239d ago

Everybody is different. Just because you can just brush off stuff does not mean everybody else can. She most likely suffered from depression and the bully's just added on to that.

-EvoAnubis-2239d ago

I don't personally understand it either, but I'm confident enough in myself to not give a flying toss what anyone else has to say on the subject. Not everyone can say the same, and to them ish like this can really have a drastic effect on them.

oasdada2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

Somethings just get u you know.. tell a handsome man he's ugly too many times and even he'll start to believe it. And the saddest part about this story is that bullies still wont learn a lesson

Rachel_Alucard2239d ago

She had low self-esteem and chronic pain, some people have a more difficult time dealing with social activities and don't know how to respond and may have negative reactions to things that most people can brush off.

Bathyj2239d ago

Its not just about having thick skin. Surely if the criticism is affecting you that much you should just stop reading. There are always other options.

Its just a bunch of clowns anyway, why would you keep actively seeking their opinion if its so terrible.

I would throw my computer off a bridge before I threw myself off one.

DragonKnight2239d ago

The inability to disassociate online from reality is a personality flaw that one can't control. It's actually a mental condition. There are even people who can't disassociate themselves from characters in fantasy situations and even come to truly care about people that don't actually exist, to the point they can't enjoy any fictional story that would require the death of those characters, especially at the hands of a person with such a condition.

People who do not have those flaws can't comprehend actually taking seriously the kind of muck raking that goes on online. That's simply because their mind is functioning the way it was intended to. For people like Rachel, well she wasn't so fortunate.

The people telling her to do those things also have problems. But unlike Rachel, their problems could also be a lack of proper guidance from parents. They also had the choice to not act the way they did and instead decided that their anonymity and desire to make someone feel like crap was more important than anything else.

May Rachel find in death, the serenity she was not granted in life.

May the bullies that drove her to this be made to understand the finality of their actions

rdgneoz32239d ago

"It's online so one can just ignore it and brush it aside."

Yep, exactly. It's the internet, you can always just shut the browser down or stop visiting certain sites. If they were harassing her in person or such, it'd be one thing. But most sites and such have ignore features...

itBourne2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

While I do not condone suicide, at all, and find it pointless, I do hope the best for everyone effected by this. I wish her family and those close to her the best. I hope they celebrate the good times they had with her.

Still one of the best quotes I have ever heard... "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."

Lukejrl2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

Yea, sadly though the Internet has become the opposite of what it was initially designed to do. The Internet was to unite people around the globe, instead we have families at the dinner table looking at their tablets. Or worse not they can't even watch a show together with being online.

Pepole regardless of problems need human contact not over Internet contact. It should not be okay to isolate oneself.

Not saying things would have been different, people have a lot going on but if your out there and people see your pain they can help better.

Not say this person was totally isolated but to willfully carry on the conversation I read on a site makes me angry at the asshole and sad for the victim.

TFJWM2239d ago

@DragonKnight Can you explain yourself a little clearer you go on about people not being able to separate themselves from online avatars, not sure what has to do with anything in this story. They are talking to Rachel not to a virtual representation of Rachel...

Testfire2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

My thoughts go out to the family as this is a tragedy. With that being said, I can't help but think that suicide among young people is getting worse.

As someone who was bullied, I actually don't hate bullies. I think bullying is a natural order of life and society. It's made me a tougher person and brought me out of a shell I was in as a youngster.

The difference for me was I come from a generation where we were raised tougher and learned to cope with our problems. Kids now and especially from the 90s weren't raised right imo. Parents were told not to spank, don't yell and to give "time outs". They were told their kids needed meds and therapy. Parents tell their kids not to stand up to bullies, but rather go tell a teacher. Everyone is a winner and we're all equal. Well guess what? That's not life! And now these children grow up and can't deal with bullies, can't cope and don't know what to do.

Couple this with a generation that's hooked on social media where online popularity is a measure of self worth and where trolls are a dime a dozen and you get a recipe for disaster.

DragonKnight2239d ago

@TFJWM: I was pretty clear. The idea was posited that Rachel should have been able to just brush it aside. My comment was made to show that some people can't disassociate themselves from things that are said online so as to be able to just brush it aside and that the inability to do so is a mental condition. I'm saying that Rachel was incapable of just brushing it aside because she was incapable of disassociating herself in the manner that is necessary to be able to just ignore it.

Swiggins2239d ago

It's tough think about it, but there's a large segment of the new generation that effectively "lives" online, all their friends are online, they communicate through social media and they retreat from the real world in favor of one that suits them better.

Unfortunately, when douche-canoes starts cyber-bullying these people, the destruction of their virtual world can seem like the destruction of their real world.

My heart goes out to Rachel's friends and family. I won't pretend to understand what a transgendered person feels like (I'm not transgender), and I'll admit to not understanding really anything about the concept. But regardless of any of that, we've lost another talented individual who likely had a bright future ahead of them because people pushed them to the point where they didn't see any other way out.

Rest in Peace.

ShinMaster2239d ago


She suffered from depression and had crippling arthritis and fibromyalgia which caused her chronic pain.

Edito2239d ago

Ppl that probably she never saw personally i im with you i don't understand and i feel really sad and sorry for her family... I hope this trend stops asap.

donthate2239d ago


What you say to a healthy person and their reaction is generally brushed off. However, what you say to a depressed person, might just push them off the cliff.

Think of it as, if you are angry, how much easier is it to push you to get angrier?

I volunteered for suicide prevention hotline, and it was just about managing feelings the entire time. People that felt suicidal needed somebody to talk to from jumping off that cliff.

Unfortunately, the world we live in is a world of selfishness, ignorance and lack of acceptance especially on the internet.

UKmilitia2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

disabled,transgender,depressi on and chronic back pain.

poeple was telling her to jump of bridge and she did.
wow ,what a horrible world we live in,i hope karma comes back to bite them.

OtakuDJK1NG-Rory2239d ago

well some people make life on the internet.

Aither2239d ago

My Rachel rest in piece. I pray for her family that they may overcome this hard and difficult time.

Cyber bullying is an awful thing, as one who has experienced it myself it can in some ways hurt more than actual bullying because you cannot defend yourself against the attackers when they hide behind their keyboards.

bouzebbal2239d ago

kill yourself for this? i guess she must have had some problems next to.
still, nothing allows anyone to take a life, no matter the reason no matter the circumstances.

Damrock2239d ago

You don't know what is going on in other people life's though.

The person might already be on the edge of doing something and just take one person to push them over that edge.

People should think before they open there mouth cause the person they say something abusive too might be the person that's already down and on the edge.

r1sh122239d ago

its hard to say she can brush it off easily, because it sounded like she probably worked with people through online communities.
She might have also been an active forum user, its hard for some to just not care.
Imagine going to work everyday and getting told youre all sorts of things, her work might have primarily been on the internet and that could have been her first point of interaction with people.
Who knows, people get really brave on the net since they wont get their asses handed to them because they might be suffering in real life.

Its a cycle that probably wont get broken any time soon.
Not everyone can brush off things said to them, its the same in real life.
If a person gets bullied one of them may not care, whilst another might take it heart.
Everyone is different.

spoonard2239d ago

It's not the bullying alone, generally people that take these extreme measures have other things wrong as well.

DarXyde2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

Some people struggle to do such things. We're not all made the same way. At a physiological level, you'd be surprised just how different we really are. Some people are on the edge of schizophrenia and it only takes a mild trigger get that stone rolling. Others are genetically predisposed to depression or bipolar disorders/cyclothymia. Some people have intensive compulsions and phobias that they feel they can never overcome.

We may not truly understand, but we are truly different and it's an empathy for these neurologically diverse occurrences that bring us together.

Bullying is never right and it makes me sick to my stomach to see a lack of concern for your fellow human (not you personally, but the bullies).

We don't know what other people deal with and perhaps the one place Miss Byrk felt at home was the one place that bullied her. Condolences, and it's a shame.

JsonHenry2239d ago

The problem is most likely due to some sort of mental illness/instability complicated by stress from things like "bullying" or other life struggles.

frostypants2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

People with anxiety disorders can't let stuff go so easily...perhaps she had one. Still, can't really legislate away people being jerks. The issue is more a social problem than did we get to a point where people think it's acceptable and enjoyable to be so outwardly cruel to others? There was a time when most would keep such thoughts to themselves. The internet is an amazing thing, but it has enabled certain aspects of civilized society to deteriorate.

leogets2239d ago

Im pritty sure it wouldnt b just bullying. Shes was probably depressed or bi polar or something. Either way she wasnt taking her medication.

Codewow2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

It's not just online though. Cyber bullies often take it much further by harassing you by mail, phone calls, etc. They'll get to you any way they can if they're a dedicated bully and not just some random person trying to make himself/herself laugh.

SilentNegotiator2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

Let's pretend like there HASN'T been a campaign by the media to defame gamers and overstate the amount of harassment that women get on the internet for a second...

Was the main contributing factor REALLY the cyber harassment?

edit: Nope. http://thecolorffooff.tumbl...
No doubt this will be cited for years to come anyway, and probably be talked about the next time Anita/Quinn/etc speaks to congress to try to convince them to limit freedom of speech.

Revolver_X_2239d ago


While you hope people wouldn't politicize this, it is an unfortunate inevitability. There are people probably chomping at the bits to fit this in their agenda.

MrCherry2239d ago

Thin you dont get it! Its a disease not a "o today im going to kill my self"

VenomUK2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

Jesus Christ, I didn't know anything about Rachel but it is so heartbreaking when somebody takes their own life. My thoughts are with her family. May she rest in peace.

XBLSkull2239d ago

It may be hard to avoid bullying in a real life but "cyber bullying" is the lamest excuse I've ever heard. Cancel internet service, boom, problem solved. I'm guessing it was due to other things because that is so ridiculous, I can't feel sorry for her because of that. It's like when someone dies in a parachute accident - I can't say "oh how sad" with a straight face. You chose to jump out of an airplane and it ended badly, that is a Darwin award not a sad story. Easily preventable but some people are destined to have natural selection remove them from the population.

Gaming1012239d ago

This person was trans gender, and the suicide rate of trans gender people is actually quite high. Combined with ongoing health issues, probably from whatever hormones this person was taking, it doesn't surprise.

The online bullying is probably the least of this person's problems. No one really kills themselves because of solely online bullying, there are always other factors.

abstractel2239d ago

@dboy You start off saying bullying is bad, then go onto basically justify it. If you don't understand what it's like to be severely depressed and severely bullied, you shouldn't have an opinion. If you have been both, and you have tough skin, good for you, but there's zero excuses for bullying.

It's the "she wore the wrong dress so it's partly her own fault she got raped" argument" applied to bullying.

I've never been suicidal, but I have been severely bullied and it's f'ing depressing as hell.

SuperbVillain2239d ago

some people are just closer to the edge than others. has to be built up from years of shit from other people

ChrisW2238d ago

When you're having problems with yourself, in Byrk's case it was gender identity, even the littlest negative comment can feel like a major blow.

Even if Byrk shut off the computer and ignored all of those attacks, he may still have found himself considering suicide because of his depression.

+ Show (37) more repliesLast reply 2238d ago
CaptainObvious8782239d ago

This is very tragic. I can't comprehend how people can be so mean that they drive someone to suicide. I hope she's at peace now.

Forgive me if I'm being insensitive, but I have to say I wonder how long it will take certain outlets to blame this on gamergate.

DragonKnight2239d ago

Immediately. The article contains a comment that says "I heard gamergate did it." Likely meant as a joke, but it's funny to exactly 0 people, with the exception of people who will say it's funny just because someone says it's not funny.

subtenko2239d ago

We need to stop ONLY focusing on bullies. We need to teach people how to not listen to others..

Option A: Tell people not to be mean (only affects mean people)

Option B: Make sure kids know & learn, hey dont care what people say if its stupid dont listen to them..(bullying would have occurred, but the person wouldnt be so sensitive and phases by it.)

For all we know Captain Obvious878 for example could be a jumper because of all the downvotes. Thats what happens when people are THAT sensitive and influenced, no more of that! Stop it!

JohnathanACE2239d ago


They've already started blaming Gamersgate.

abstractel2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

@subtenko So we shouldn't teach kids not to be bullies? We should teach kids to put up with it? Wow... just wow.

Hey, while we are at it, lets teach kids how to tolerate pain better instead of punishing people who beat up other kids.

subtenko2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )


I said "ONLY" in to answer you question which was already answered...we need to do both...

But by your logic we need to stop bullying like what has been going on for over a decade with people still killing themselves over a bully...

I could casually say "Just off a bridge" in a nice way and list the benefits without being mean. Since people are so influence by what others say they will do it cause apparently people listen and head to others words that much.

and you say lets teach kids how to tolerate pain, might as well say "Oh kids you are being bullied you should feel sad and pathetic because they are being mean to you" You are part of the frikken problem...

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2239d ago
KryptoniteTail2239d ago ShowReplies(4)
2239d ago Replies(1)
MEsoJD2239d ago

If one commits suicide over bullying, they either have a phycological or expectation issue (as in people have it much worse in 3rd world countries).
That said, people need to learn how to handle the Internet. My number one rule is to not take it too seriously (in most cases). As for bullies... Well think of them as your first encounter that life has conflict and you need to learn how to effectively deal with that conflict. Ok enough rambling.

Gardenia2239d ago

Update said it wasn't bullies but that he had health issues

Codewow2239d ago

To me they aren't just bullies here. They are a cause of death. Involuntary manslaughter right here. It's sickening.

Death2239d ago

@Crazy and the 91 agrees, please read the story. You are doing exactly what the author asked people not do. The story has nothing to do with being bullied. It's sad that people can't read a story before commenting or forming an opinion.

rdgneoz32239d ago

Yep, the update basically said it was over Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid arthritis, not over bullying. Instead we have people user her death for their own agendas...

"In short, I'm not ok with my friend's death being used as a tool."

"Posting false sympathies for your Twitter followers to see that none of us who are affected will ever see isn't going to fix anything."

Mithan2239d ago

Losers that need mental help.

TAURUS-5552239d ago

she just could...turn the pc easy.

DigitallyAfflicted2239d ago

It's much easier to understand when you think about the victim and not your self.
For star trans-gender people are discriminated and reject in real life, some times by they own family as we know if people you love can't accept who you are then your self confidence problem will escalate. Going online for Rachel was a escape from brutal reality and a way to make new friends, once that stopped and turn in to bulling she had nowhere to go. Saying that you don't understand is a bad thing, we should all spend some time to try understand so we can stop this from happening to others as it is horribile waist of life... R.I.P Rachel Byrk

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2238d ago
RmanX10002239d ago

I swear to god I hate the internet sometimes... The fact that people are driven to that point by idiots on their keyboards is absolutely baffling.

LOGICWINS2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

I wonder the same. I think it has a lot to do with how parents raise their kids these days. They try to make them as comfortable as possible with "If you treat people nicely, they will do the same in return" motto. They often fail to teach their kids that there will ALWAYS be people who will dislike them for no logical reason whatsoever.

I kept mostly to myself in high school and was friendly to everyone, yet there were a clique of kids that simply didn't like me. One day I noticed that my U.S Government book was missing from my locker. About a month later, my Government teacher said that he found my book shoved into a radiator. It was compressed to the point where it looked like an accordion...something that would have had to have taken an unbelievable amount of strength as the book was several inches thick with a hardcover.

As I said, I was friendly with everyone.

extermin8or2239d ago

Obviously at the time I absolutely despised it, but being bullied by at least one person throughout my main school life for... No logical reason has its benefits I guess. It means nowadays it takes alot of crap to actually get me down, I just seem to bounce back from pretty much anything and it ones teach you how to not take crap from anyone. Guess it's a shame it doesn't effect everyone the same way aand that she couldn't just stop using the sites for awhile and then make new anonymous accounts and keep them anonymous. I believe that's the official advice from police etc. Stop visiting site for a month or two, if the problem still persists delete your accounts etc change your contact details and whatnot and create new anonymous ones if you simply can't not use the site. It's hassel yeah but I'd hope a better alternative to killing themselves :/ ofc there are usually other underlying issues.

Dark_king2239d ago

Really we live in a world where the strong eat the weak its in are nature to fight.Its not just humans that do this most predators do this.If you have kids teach them to fight back make them strong because the world will chew them up and spit them is a struggle to survive no one owes you peace that's something you must fight to achieve.

blackblades2239d ago

Yeah, karma needs to bite all of them in the butt in the real world. People needs to stand up against them, find out who they are and put them on blast for the world to see.

DLConspiracy2239d ago

What these kids don't understand is that there is a human being on the other end. Online is not real to these kids. War on TV isn't real. They are kids left unattended and left to spit their venom without consequence.

rainslacker2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

I'm going to put this link here since it's now buried on the 2nd page of this comment section, and actually seems pertinent to your comment. Link provided by Rachel_Alucard in comment #33


This comment section is a perfect example of people that jump to quick assumptions based on misinformation.

That being said, online bullies are the worst of the lame, and if they think they're cool because they harass others online to get some kicks, then they have real emotional problems and need to seek help.

MakinBaconXD2239d ago

Rman,if I could agree with this more than once I would. I feel the same way about the Internet at least as it is now. I use the Internet and video games to escape toxic people like these bullies,but somehow they manage to find their way on here. And seeing comments like "suicide is for the weak,survival of the fittest!" make me wanna hulk out. I know some of them might be just some hipsters or teenage punks to be "edgy" and "ironic",but sometimes you need to know when to stop. Rest in peace,Rachel.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2239d ago
St0rm_Cr0w2239d ago

This is a tragedy, no doubt, but she should have simply ignored the @$$holes. I'd be very surprised if that was the ONLY reason she killed herself. I suspect much deeper issues were at work here.

OB1Biker2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

My phone made me hit disagree by mistake. Sorry about that. I found it so very sad indeed

OhMyGandhi2239d ago (Edited 2239d ago )

The internet can be a horrible place.
It doesn't matter how "thick" your skin is, one can take abuse only so much. Absolutely tragic.

Gh05t2239d ago

The internet is optional abuse. No one forces anyone onto the internet to get abused. I went to google, wikipedia, amazon... never once been abused... i come to places like this where people have a voice and you have the chance of people harassing you. But no one forces me to come to this webpage everyday... It may be hard to believe for some but the social aspects of the internet are 100% optional to life. And for everyone saying it may have been part of her job... if its causing you problems its time to find a different job. My last job was physically too much for my body... so i moved on to something my body could handle. That is life. I dont like bullies but i also dont blame people for the actions taken by another with no consequence. Meaning no one forced her to get onl8ne everyday she did it to herself. If it was that bad she should have just said the internet is not for me and moved on. And bullying is not a fad its been around forever and its not going anywhere so you might aswell teach people how to deal with it like everyone has done centuries before us.

OhMyGandhi2239d ago

so your telling me that the alternative for this person who lost her life would be, don't go on places that allow people to have a voice? In this day and age, where every website has a user account that can then be synced and shared across google+, facebook, and twitter, where it then can be further dissected by more interconnected user accounts and thumbed up/down, and replied to, where websites continue to thrive off of the activity of each and every one of its users, and said website then can become an aggregate for news building apps and tools like FlipBoard, Google Now related news, News360 and others....It is impossible to avoid the advent of communication amidst a larger community.
The problem isn't necessarily tied to bullying, but the ever increasing vocalization of borderline antisocial individuals with binary emotional reactions to often trivial things.