A 16-year-old Malaysian teenager took her own life after asking her Instagram followers whether she should die or not. In a survey published on the social network, 69% of voters said yes for an answer, triggering the young woman’s reaction.
According to The Guardian, the Malaysian police, who wanted to maintain the anonymity of the young woman, stated that the survey contained the following message: “Really important, help me to choose D [death] / L [Life]”.
Instagram and its impact on adolescent behavior
Lawyers for the case began to suggest that those who voted yes might be guilty of inciting suicide, putting on the table what would have happened if they had not encouraged her to die.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s own Minister of Youth and Sports stated that he was concerned about the mental health of young people, raising the need for attention to be paid to the issue at the national level.
“I am really concerned about the mental health status of our young people. It is a national issue that must be taken seriously. Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, Malaysia.“
In February, Instagram acknowledged that publications on self-harm should be regulated following the suicide of Molly Russell, a 14-year-old English teenager who committed suicide in 2017. In this case, the girl’s parents argued that she frequently consumed self-harm content, and that this helped kill her daughter. After this case, the application began to block this type of images on the social network.
After the news, it is again on the table how social networks affect behavior, especially in the case of teenagers. Instagram already announced that it was studying to remove the “Me Gusta” from public view, in search of “alleviating the pressure” that is currently suffered in some Instagram accounts, and that so many ends up influencing the content that we upload (or even delete) in the social network.