Just before he went on Facebook Live last month to broadcast his suicide to the world, a veteran of the Iraq war posted a haunting final message urging people to tell others they are important and loved.
Ronnie McNutt, 33, posted on Facebook Aug. 31 and shot himself in the head at his Mississippi home. Since then, a graphic video of his suicide has been spreading on TikTok, causing appalled users to criticize the app for failing to do enough to remove it from the platform.
Just before he committed suicide, McNutt went to Facebook and shared a meme that consisted of a heavily monochrome photo of a man standing in a desolate landscape with a message over the picture that read, "Someone in your life need to hear that they matter. That they are loved. That they have a future. Be the one to tell them. & # 39;
Ronnie McNutt, 33, a veteran of the Iraq war, posted his shots in the head via Facebook on August 31 (Picture: Phone calls during his broadcast on the left and in an Instagram post on the right)
Shortly before his death, McNutt shared this haunting picture on Facebook
The picture also contained the words "TobyMac" and "#SpeakLife", which refer to the 2012 song Speak Life by Christian recording artist Toby McKeehan.
Less than an hour earlier, McNutt wrote in a status update: “Sometimes life just changes what you don't expect. But at the end of the day, you have to accept God's sovereignty for what it is and learn from the place you are. & # 39;
A look at McNutt & # 39; s recent social media activity reveals that he has frequently posted messages and memes about faith and shared videos of Sunday morning church services.
Two weeks before his suicide, McNutt celebrated the 69th birthday of his father, who had died two years earlier, and wrote in part: “He was a powerhouse of one man. And I miss him every day. Our family is simply not complete without him. & # 39;
On July 5, McNutt shared a suicide prevention post that included the picture of a handwritten note that read, "If suicide ever crosses your mind, you just know I'd rather hear your story than attend your funeral . "
Less than two months earlier, McNutt posted this suicide prevention message
McNutt, who worked for Toyota in Blue Spring, New Albany, recently split up with his girlfriend and also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a friend said.
Josh Steen, who co-hosted a podcast with McNutt, told Heavy, "He didn't seem like the same guy who went to Iraq after he left the service." I spent many late nights in our studio, texting and personally with him about life and his struggles.
“Mental health problems are very, very real, and I honestly think there are many people out there who struggle with all areas of mental illness and leave them untreated. Or treat it with other things it seems. & # 39;
Steen added that the video was brought to his attention when it aired and that he tried to call McNutt several times.
Steen said that he did not believe that McNutt had set out to kill himself but that he was "incredibly drunk and that this and his recent relationship problems led to the bottom line."
Steen said to Heavy, “I've tried several times to call him from my cell phone and our phone in the theater. he would easily recognize both numbers. I watched him pick up his phone, think for a second, and then decline my calls.
"I really thought if I could just get him to break his focus for a second, it would be fine."
The harrowing footage of McNutt's suicide has since been posted on TikTok and has been viewed so often that some users said it appeared on the app's & # 39; For You & # 39; homepage.
TikTok says they are banning anyone who shares the video, which has been described as "extremely bloody and scary" by users.
But users slammed Tiktok, and some have claimed that people edited the videos to include footage of cats in order to entice viewers to watch.
McNutt was an Iraq War veteran who worked for Toyota in Blue Spring, New Albany
"TikTok is a messed up app," wrote Twitter user Elise. & # 39; People post the video of Ronnie Mcnutt, a man who committed suicide on Facebook Live. My thoughts are with his family. & # 39;
Another tweeted, “I was just scrolling through TikTok and a video of someone who committed suicide was on my For You page. How are such videos allowed? I'm so just an idk (I don't know), disgusted and sad and just freaked out. & # 39;
Friends of McNutt spoke of their grief last week after the Mississippi streamed his tragic death.
One wrote online: “Please say a prayer now for Ronnie McNutt's family. He just killed himself live on Facebook and I can't miss it.
I tried but it didn't seem fast enough to get through to him. I wasn't fast enough
"Dear God, I wish I could have reached him."
Since then, the social media sites have tried to remove the footage as those who have seen it urge others to avoid TikTok.
One wrote on Twitter: & # 39; If you see this guy on your For You page, please scroll up immediately.
"It's very cruel and I suggest you stay away from TikTok for a while."
Others post a screenshot of the beginning of the video to make people aware of which clips to avoid.
A TikTok spokesperson said: “On Sunday evening, clips of a suicide were broadcast on other platforms, including TikTok, which was broadcast live on Facebook.
& # 39; Our systems have automatically detected and flagged these clips for violating our guidelines for content that advertises, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.
Posts have been posted warning users to stay away from TikTok due to McNutt's viral footage
Social media sites have tried to remove the footage as those who have seen it urge others to avoid TikTok
& # 39; We prohibit accounts that repeatedly attempt to upload clips and we appreciate our community members who reported content and warned others not to watch, activate, or view such videos on a platform out of respect for the person and family to share.
"When someone in our community is struggling with suicidal thoughts or worries about who it is, we encourage them to seek help and we provide hotline access right through our app and in our security center."
Facebook said in a statement: & # 39; We removed the original video from Facebook on the day it was streamed last month and have been using automation technology to remove copies and uploads ever since. Our thoughts stay with Ronnie's family and friends during this difficult time. & # 39;
McNutt has been described by his church as "very caring, committed, loyal, reliable and eccentric" (picture: left during his time in the army and a more recent photo right).
McNutt was a member of the Celebration Church Tupelo and they confirmed his death on September 1st.
"Amid a sudden tragedy that happened last night, we and the McNutt family mourn this time because our brother Ronnie McNutt passed away in Christ," the Church said on Facebook.
& # 39; Ronnie will be missed by everyone who loved and knew him.
He was very caring, dedicated, loyal, reliable, and eccentric. He served his Church faithfully and was loved by many.
"Although the events surrounding his death were tragic, we comfort our Creator and believe that because of Ronnie's confession and conversion as a believer in Christ Jesus, he is presently standing before our loving Father."
TikTok, whose China-based owner Bytedance was hired by President Donald Trump to sell its US operations, has been criticized in the past for its content moderation policy, particularly with regard to the distribution of graphic content.
The company rolled out a new content moderation infrastructure in December under which it marks the videos removed by the company with the category of policy they violated, according to its transparency report released in July.
For confidential assistance in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
For confidential assistance in the United States, call the Samaritans at 116123 or visit a local Samaritan office at www.samaritans.org.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) News (t) Iraq (t) TikTok