“WANNA QUIT FUCKING LIFE I’M TIRED.”
A teenage girl jumped to her death from a three-story building after conducting an Instagram poll asking whether she should kill herself.
According to local police, the 16-year-old was found dead at the foot of the building in the city of Kuching, Malaysia. The girl, who has not been named, ran a poll on Instagram with the question: “Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L.”
Police believe “D/L” meant “Death/Life.”
Some 69 percent of the girl’s followers chose the “D” option, according to police.
“We are conducting a post-mortem to determine whether there were other factors in her death,” District Police Chief Aidil Bolhassan said, adding that the teen had a history of depression.
Bolhassan said the girl also posted a disturbing message to Facebook before her death: “WANNA QUIT FUCKING LIFE I’M TIRED,”
The teen’s depression may have been related to her stepfather leaving to marry a Vietnamese woman and rarely returning home, the Daily Mail reported.
While the girl’s body was taken for autopsy, officials said they were not viewing her death as suspicious.
Instagram reviewed her account and found that 88 percent of the teen’s followers had chosen the “L” option, but said that could be due to an influx of votes following news of the girl’s death.
Malaysian lawmakers have called for a wider investigation into the incident.
“Would the girl still be alive today if the majority of netizens on her Instagram account discouraged her from taking her own life?” asked Ramkarpal Singh, a member of the Malaysian parliament.
“Would she have heeded the advice of netizens to seek professional help had they done so?”
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman added that citizens have a responsibility to report such cases to emergency services.
“As part of our own efforts, we urge everyone to use our reporting tools and to contact emergency services if they see any behavior that puts people’s safety at risk,” Rahman said.
Malaysian law makes abetting the suicide of a minor a criminal offense, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
In the United States and elsewhere, many commentators have bemoaned the influence of social media platforms. Some have argued that weakening community bonds have led people to look for fulfillment on services such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter instead of real-life relationships.
Writing for The Atlantic in 2017, Jean M. Twenge outlined the troubling aspects of modern-day teenagers’ relationship to technology, which she encountered in her work as a psychologist.
”Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” Twenge queried in the headline. In the piece, she leaned toward “yes.”