Last week, a 16-year-old Malaysian girl posted a "Should I End My Life" vote on her IG, and after 69% of trackers chose to respond "death", the girl chose to listen to the comments of her netizens and then committed suicide. In the UK, a 14-year-old girl also committed suicide after checking on community reactions. The UK government has therefore issued a recent warning that it will consider banning the operation of social media if it fails to effectively remove the offensive content. What is the line between social media and real life? How can we prevent tragedies when we see suicide posts in the first place? This week's international newsletter takes you together to discuss our distance from the network.

Malaysian police confirmed last week that a 16-year-old girl had committed suicide after asking instagram followers if she should end her life, prompting a community tracker to end her life.

According to police, the Malaysian girl launched a voting question and answer on her Instagram feed: "It's important for me to choose "D or L", D stands for death, L stands for survival." Police said the results showed that 69% of trackers chose a "death" response.

The Malaysian government ordered a thorough investigation into the case, with a young chief saying: "I am really concerned about the mental health of young people." As the event emerged, many of the issues that have surfaced around the impact of cyber bullying and whether community platforms provide adequate protection for users are clearly a problem facing the world.

In the UK, a 14-year-old girl also committed suicide after checking community reactions. The UK government has therefore issued a recent warning that it will consider banning the operation of social media if it fails to effectively remove the offensive content. (Recommended reading: Psychologists talk about "suicide": they desire to be understood by pain, not to deny that pain exists)

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What can I do if I see someone who says i want to kill myself?

If you think the original po is in danger of being in a state of emergency, Suicide Prevention recommends that you call an emergency call; if they are not in immediate danger, you can return the post, try to contact him if you know the original po, and keep him on the phone as much as possible.

Dr Lucy Biddle, lecturer in medical sociology at the University of Bristol, said: "There are many social media platforms that receive dangerous messages the first time they can alert users of the dangers of postings. Lucy Biddle suggests that when we see a dangerous post, we can immediately return it to the social media platform, letting the platform know how they can help and assist.

As a representative brand of social media, Instagram also said: "We absolutely have a great responsibility to ensure that users feel safe and supported when using Instagram, and the corresponding relative actions include urging us to use the reporting tool, and we will ask users to discover any risky content the first time. Emergency customer service can be contacted. 」

On Instagram, you can tap the "three-point" icon in the upper right corner of the post and select "Return Questions" and then select "Inappropriate content" or "This is hurtful content." Facebook, the parent company of Instagram, has previously said it will review the returns and try to give assistance and support to those who want to commit suicide, such as encouraging the original po to contact close friends or providing life protection-related information to contact.

Meanwhile, Lucy Biddle advises people that if the original po is someone you know, you can consider privately asking them to talk to them. "A lot of people are afraid to ask people if you're suicidal because everyone thinks it could make things worse. But in fact, it's important to chat and care about the situation you know, and don't lose sight of the importance of the action. 」

Lucy Biddle then added to the young community: "If you feel like you can't, try getting adults to help you come together or show your concern for the original po." 」

Another thing you can do is encourage the original po to contact the relevant organization for professional help. Papyrus, a British youth suicide charity, says that if you don't know the original po but are worried about his condition, you can tell the original po these professional units contact phone numbers or websites, etc. 」

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Is the use of the online community positively associated with suicide?

The Samaritans, a suicide prevention group, says the causes of suicide are complex, have so many possibilities that very few can lead to suicide. The use of the Internet can accelerate the spread of positive or negative energy cultures among young people, such as some people asking for help online to find a sense of belonging, and others encouraging and sharing negative attitudes.

Lucy Biddle says it's a complex structure, and the network can really help some people, but it can also hurt some people. For example, online community organizations can provide support to those who want to commit suicide, but they can also give the invisible impression that "suicide is normal". Because this means that these people in real life to ask for help, only need to go online to seek help from the online community.

Lucy Biddle conducted a series of interviews and studies on people who "use the Internet to commit suicide" or "stay in hospital after suicide attempts" and found that people see the internet and social media as spaces where they can speak and express themselves, and they can get many different responses on the web. 」

"I think it could be very dangerous and harmful if people were allowed to reinforce or even distort your perception of suicide in this way. In cyberspace, we see too much distorted speech, and the scope of its impact is significant. Lucy Biddle adds the effects of the group effect. (Recommended reading: Invisible high wall set by society for "suicide" : I die because the world told me to do it)

Lucy Biddle suggests that if you want to discuss suicide more effectively and safely, you should choose to have a discussion between a "public charity operating" or "a well-managed community" and understand the guidelines for each platform and how they identify and prevent inappropriate content.

To those who feel down, I hope you remember that the world may not be so friendly, but still hopeful.

If you need professional assistance, you can refer to the following information:

  • County and city life line: direct dial 1995
  • County and city Zhang teacher line: direct dial 1980
  • Weifu 24-hour free peace of mind line:0800-788-995

If you need someone to talk to, you can come here and find us:

Emotions are positive, just as our bodies have a frontal back, and none of them is better. When you fall into a negative mood, I hope you know, this is normal, do not therefore deny their own value, do not feel the world is bleak, please hold yourself, feel still alive, it is a good thing.

May you love your shadow, like the light loves you

- Ren Mingxin

This article is compiled for the BBC, please refer to: