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31 July


Teenager killed herself after an Instagram poll

In Malaysia, for the perpetrators of incitement to suicide of a minor, the death penalty or 20 years in prison

Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ A teenage girl has killed herself in Malaysia after her Instagram followers voted for death in a poll she posted to ask them whether she should live or die. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

The girl, 16, whose identity is unknown, had reportedly run a poll on the photo-sharing app with the question, "Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L (Death/Life)," before jumping off the top of a building in the east Malaysian state of Sarawak on Monday (local time).

A total of 69% of those took part in the poll chose "D." It is unclear whether the result affected her suicide decision. Malaysian police are investigating the case, including whether those who voted for her to die should be held accountable for abetting suicide.

Under Malaysian law, a person found guilty of abetting the suicide of a minor could face the death penalty or up to 20 years in prison.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission issued a statement advising social media users to be more attentive and sensitive to suicidal postings. It urged them to report such messages to their family, friends and police. In February, Instagram said it would adopt a "sensitivity screens" system to block images of self-harm.

The decision came after the death of a British teenager, 14, whose parents believed that viewing such images on Instagram contributed to her suicide in 2017.