Teenager kills herself over Instagram poll

A teen has jumped to her death after posting a poll on her Instagram account asking followers if she should live or die.

“Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L,” the 16-year-old girl asked her followers.

Sarawak Police chief Aidil Bolhassan said she was found dead at the bottom of a building in the city of Kuching, on the island of Borneo.

He added that “D” stood for “death” while “L” stood for “life”.

“As many as 69 per cent of the teenager’s Instagram friends had supported the decision for her to kill herself via a voting poll,” the police chief said.

He said she appeared to have jumped to her death from the third floor of a shopping centre.

Ramkarpal Singh, an MP in the north-western state of Penang, suggested that those who voted for her to die could be guilty of abetting suicide.

He said: “Would the girl still be alive today if the majority of netizens on her Instagram account discouraged her from taking her own life? Would she have heeded the advice of netizens to seek professional help had they done so?”

Under Malaysian law, anyone convicted of abetting the suicide of a minor could face the death penalty or up to 20 years in jail.

Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s youth and sports minister, also called for an investigation into the girl’s death highlighted the need for national-level discussions about mental health in the country.

“It is very unfortunate a young life was lost in this manner,” he said.

Police said they do not believe that anybody else was involved in the teenager’s death.

The police chief said that her body has been taken to the Sarawak General Hospital Forensic Department for a postmortem.

In February, Instagram announced that it would add “sensitivity screens” to block images that promote self-harm or suicide. The screens will blur the image behind them until the user explicitly indicates they want to view the graphic content.

The move came in the wake of the death of British teenager Molly Russell, whose parents said she took her own life at the age of 14 after looking at self-harm posts on Instagram.

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