Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Teenage girl kills herself 'after Instagram poll' in Malaysia

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.

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.

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