A 16-year-old Malaysian teen reportedly committed suicide Monday after the results of an Instagram poll instructed her to do so.
Before jumping to her death, the unnamed girl ran a poll on her Instagram account asking her followers if she should commit suicide. The poll read, “Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L”, the D and L standing for death or life.
The girl reportedly jumped off of a rooftop in Sarawak, Malaysia, according to district police chief Aidil Bolhassan.
“We are conducting a post-mortem to determine whether there were other factors in her death,” Bolhassan told Reuters.
The Instagram poll showed that 69% of the girl’s followers choose “D” or death before she killed herself, Bolhassan said.
Instagram reviewed the girl’s account following reports of her death, uncovering that 88% of her followers chose “L” over the 24 hour period the poll ran for. Bolhassan explained the numbers may have been affected once news broke that the girl actually did follow through and kill herself.
Malaysian lawmakers have reacted to the incident with concern, some calling for further action to be taken.
Ramkarpal Singh, a lawyer and Malaysian member of parliament, says that those who voted for the girl to commit suicide may be responsible of a crime.
“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?” Singh asked in a statement.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman also called for further action to be taken, saying that mental health issues and rising suicide rates needed to be taken more seriously.
Instagram issued a statement in response to the suicide, urging users to report dangerous behaviors occurring on the platform.
“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 people’s safety at risk,” the statement said.
It is illegal in Malaysian to assist the suicide of a minor, offenders potentially facing the death penalty or up to 20 years in prison, according to Reuters.
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