Malaysian teenager, 16, ‘died jumping from the third floor of a shop after conducting an Instagram poll on whether she should kill herself’ – and 69 per cent chose ‘death’
- 16-year-old found dead at 8pm at the foot of a three-storey store in Kuching
- Police say she appears to have killed herself after conducting a poll on Instagram
- Teen posted around 3pm saying ‘Really Important, Help Me Choose Death/Life’
- After 69 per cent of people voted for ‘death’ she killed herself, investigators said
A Malaysian teenager plunged to her death after conducting an Instagram poll on whether she should kill herself, police say.
The 16-year-old was found dead at the foot of a three-storey shop in the city of Kuching, on the island of Borneo, around 8pm on Tuesday.
The schoolgirl, who has not been named, had run a poll on the photo-sharing app with the question ‘Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L’, hours before jumping off the roof of the building.
The ‘D/L’ meant ‘Death/Life’, and the poll had showed 69 per cent of the girl’s followers chose ‘D’, district police chief Aidil Bolhassan.
‘We are conducting a post-mortem to determine whether there were other factors in her death,’ he said, adding that the girl had a history of depression.
The 16-year-old was found dead at the foot of a three-storey shop in the city of Kuching (pictured), on the island of Borneo, around 8pm on Tuesday
Bolhassan said the girl had posted a message on Facebook which said: ‘WANNA QUIT F****** LIFE I’M TIRED.’
Her depression seemed to stem from the fact that her stepfather had married a Vietnamese woman and seldom returned home, Bolhassan added according to news site Astro Awani.
The girl’s body has been taken for a post-mortem, but officers say the death is not being viewed as suspicious.
Instagram reviewed the teenager’s account and found that the online poll, which ran over a 24-hour period, ended with 88% percent votes for ‘L’, said Wong Ching Yee, Instagram’s head of communications in the Asia-Pacific.
Aidil, however, said that the poll’s numbers may have changed after news of the girl’s death spread.
The case had sparked concern among Malaysian lawmakers who called for a wider probe.
Ramkarpal Singh, a lawyer and member of parliament, said that those who voted for the teenager to die could be guilty of abetting suicide.
‘Would the girl still be alive today if the majority of netizens on her Instagram account discouraged her from taking her own life?’ he said in a statement.
‘Would she have heeded the advice of netizens to seek professional help had they done so?’
The teen wrote an Instagram post which said ‘Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L’, where ‘D’ stood for ‘die’ and ‘L’ stood for live. After 69 per cent of people voted ‘die’, she killed herself
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman also called for a probe, saying that rising suicide rates and mental health issues among young people needed to be taken seriously.
Under Malaysian law, anyone convicted of abetting the suicide of a minor could face the death penalty or up to 20 years’ jail and a fine.
Instagram extended its sympathies to the teenager’s family, and said the company had a responsibility to make its users feel safe and supported.
‘As part of our own efforts, we urge everyone to use our reporting tools and to contact emergency services if they see any behaviour that puts peopleâs safety at risk,’ Wong said.
In February, Instagram banned graphic images and content related to self-harm from its platform, citing a need to keep vulnerable users safe.
The changes came following pressure from the parents of a British teenager, who believed that viewing Instagram accounts related to self-harm and depression contributed to their daughter’s suicide in 2017.
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