Teenage girl who killed herself after posting a poll on social media asking if she should take her own life

Davia Emelia commit suicide at her home in Sarawak, Malaysia, after 69 per cent of participants in the poll voted in favour of her dying.

The 16-year-old was found dead at the foot of a three-storey shop around 8pm on Tuesday.

The schoolgirl had run a poll on the photo-sharing app with the question ‘Really Important, Help Me Choose D/L’, only hours prior to her death.

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 said.

‘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.

Her cousin shared a photo hours later on the Davia’s Instagram story showing a body on the ground surrounded by officers and taped off.

‘Just now you guys voted for D and this happened… happy now?,’ the post was captioned.

A neighbour told local media Davia was ‘studious and rarely seen without a book in her hand’.

Bolhassan said Davia had posted a message on Facebook prior to the Instagram post which read: ‘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.

Davia’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.

‘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 also called for a probe, saying that rising suicide rates and mental health issues among young people needed to be taken seriously.

Under Malaysian law, anyone convicted of abetting the suicide of a minor could face the death penalty or up to 20 years’ jail and a fine.

Instagram extended its sympathies to the teenager’s family, and said the company had a responsibility to make its users feel safe and supported.

‘As part of our own efforts, we urge everyone to use our reporting tools and to contact emergency services if they see any behaviour that puts people’s safety at risk,’ Wong said.

In February, Instagram banned graphic images and content related to self-harm from its platform, citing a need to keep vulnerable users safe.

The changes came following pressure from the parents of a British teenager, who believed that viewing Instagram accounts related to self-harm and depression contributed to their daughter’s suicide in 2017.