A 16-year-old girl allegedly placed her life in the hands of her Instagram followers when she asked them if she should kill herself using an Instagram poll on her “IG story”.
She jumped down from the third floor of a Kuching shop lot in Sarawak, Malaysia after they voted ‘yes’, according to local media.
She posted a poll on her Instagram Story at around 3 pm yesterday (13 May) which wrote, “Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L”. D and L stood for die and live respectively. Sixty-nine per cent of her followers chose “D” as their answer, which apparently triggered her to end her life.
It’s not certain if her followers knew her intentions were sincere or the dire consequences of that poll because at face value, it’s relatively cryptic. However, the teenager left other clues besides the Instagram poll.
On her Facebook, she wrote a post that read:
Upon examination of her phone, the police discovered WeChat messages written in Mandarin that were sent to her friends wishing them well.
In terms of motive, police suspect that girl could have been experiencing stress at home due to her step-father marrying a Vietnamese woman in Singapore.
Moreover, it’s noted that her step-father and his new wife rarely visit the family in Sarawak.
Her body was taken to the Sarawak Forensics Hospital where the case was declared as sudden death without criminal motive.
A recent 2017 mental health survey in Malaysia revealed an ongoing mental health crisis in the country with at least 550,000 youths having contemplated suicide, that’s 10 percent of all youth in Malaysia. By 2020, depression was estimated to be a major mental health issue for Malaysians. In Singapore itself, mental health is still held as a taboo in society with some social consequences although surveys have shown that 1 in 7 Singaporeans have experienced a mental health disorder.
This incident can serve as a stark reminder that actions on social media too can bear consequences, so be careful what you vote for.