An Indonesian Instagram celebrity with more than 400,000 followers incited public outrage this week after she shared tragic videos of another influencer’s suicide via her account.
On Saturday, 23-year-old instaceleb Ayu Wulantari reportedly committed suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of a hotel in Jimbaran. The incident made national headlines and was heavily discussed on social media over the weekend, with many Indonesians subsequently pouring their prayers and condolences online.
In what appears to be a severe lack of empathy, another influencer identified as YF posted a story on Instagram to say that she has a video of Ayu jumping, telling her followers to send her a direct message should they wish to see it.
In a follow-up story, she wrote: “Seriously, I really have the full video. I’m arranging it right now, you can watch it full on my TikTok in just a bit,” YF wrote, adding her username on the popular video-sharing platform at the end.
According to YF’s stories, she shared the videos on Telegram, TikTok, and also Instagram, though it was taken down on the latter two. She eventually wrote that she will remove the video from Telegram herself, saying that she received suggestions from her followers that “this type of thing isn’t good to share.”
“At first I just thought of fulfilling my own curiosity and [for] all of you, because the videos aren’t available just anywhere and I was able to get it. But I’ll concede because not everyone can accept it,” YF wrote.
YF’s stories have since been captured and reshared by various social media users, including popular gossip account @lambe_turah. Her posts have been met with outrage from netizens, many of whom pointed out her insensitivity and ignorance, while also chiding her apparent attempt at attracting more audience by using Ayu’s widely discussed death.
“Please, no more people lacking empathy just for the sake of content,” a Twitter user wrote.
“‘Fulfilling curiosity,’ how crazy, someone’s death turned into content. Didn’t she think about how if one day her own family or herself might be dying and then uploaded to the internet for the sake of content? So stupid, no brain and no heart,” another said.
“Report her account. It’s big but she’s so thirsty for content that she would go this far. In her religion it’s so obviously taught that they should respect those who have passed away,” an Instagram user commented.
At the time of publication, YF appears to have set her account to private.
Discussions surrounding mental health, including suicide and depression, are often taboo in Indonesia, making posts like YF’s especially problematic because they trivialize a complex and sensitive issue.
Indonesia currently does not have a dedicated government-run suicide prevention hotline, but if you or anyone you know is suffering from depression and/or contemplating suicide, you can get more information and resources from several local NGOs dealing with mental health and suicide prevention, such as intothelightid.org.