Malaysian teen, Davia Emilia commits suicide after polling her followers on Instagram whether she should kill herself? The anonymous power of social media and a teen’s desperation for validation.
A 16-year-old girl killed herself after sharing an Instagram poll asking followers whether she should die — with 69 percent responding the girl should, reports said.
‘Really important, help me choose,’ the student reportedly posted along with the poll.
Legal experts questioned whether those who encouraged her suicide could be held responsible for the death.
‘Would the girl still be alive today if the majority of netizens on her Instagram account discouraged her from taking her own life?’ lawyer Ramkarpal Singh told the Guardian. ‘Would she have heeded the advice of netizens to seek professional help had they done so?’
Or perhaps the insecure teen simply needed to have social media validate her subconscious desire to take her own life?
‘The news is certainly very shocking and deeply saddening, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the young woman in Malaysia,’ said Vishal Shah, Instagram’s head of product.
The social media platform released a statement urging users to reach out to authorities if they fear someone may harm themselves.
‘We have a deep responsibility to make sure people using Instagram feel safe and supported,’ a spokesperson said. ‘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.’
It remained unclear if any of the teen’s followers reported Emilia to authorities or reached out to her family or whether it was simply an instance of a vast collective unknown shielded from being directly responsible simply decided to send the girl to her death – an instance of the platform amplifying the very worse of its self.