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Russia Launches “Safe Selfie” Campaign

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A spate of deaths and injuries have led to the launch of a new campaign in Russia which aims to educate people in how to take safer selfies.

Selfie mania continues to sweep the globe, but it seems that the Russians are taking more risks than other nationalities when it comes to snapping a picture of themselves. A number of deaths and injuries have occurred during the act of taking a selfie, and a new campaign aims to prevent further tragedy, according to the BBC.

Dangerous selfie warnings published in new brochure

Russian news agency TASS reports that in this calendar year alone, over 10 deaths and 100 injuries have occurred as people take selfies. Now the Russian police has issued a brochure to students and the general public warning of the dangers of selfies.

“A cool selfie can cost you your life,” reads one passage, which is presented alongside an infographic which looks like a series of road signs. Instead of warnings for road users, the signs aim to educate the reader as to the dangers of taking selfies in risky situations.

A number of the infographics are based on real incidents, including one in which a 21-year-old girl from Moscow accidentally shot herself in the head as she took a selfie with a pistol. The girl was left critically injured after attempting to take a selfie with the weapon pressed to her temple.

Another infographic is inspired by the tragic story of a teenager from the Ryazan region, who died trying to take a selfie next to a high-voltage line on some train tracks.

Tragic incidents lead to public awareness campaign

The campaign aims to discourage the pursuit of selfies taken in extreme situations, a trend which has provoked reckless behavior. As the campaign motto says, “even a million ‘likes’ on social media are not worth your life and well-being.”

Other infographics warn against taking selfies with animals, on rooftops or near exposed electrical wires.

“Along with all the advantages of the modern world there appear new threats,” said Russian official Yelena Alekseyeva during a media event. “We would like to remind the citizens that the chase for ‘likes’ in social networks can lead to the road of death.”

Russian police officers will also visit schools around the country in order to teach children how to take safer selfies. The public has also been invited to contribute to the scheme by sharing dangerous situations to a specially-built section of the Ministry of Internal Affairs website, where they can also upload their own illustrations.

Disregarding safety for selfie fame

The trend for selfies is driving people to greater lengths in order to take one which will stand out from the crowd, and Russia has been home to some of the most extreme attempts. In January this year, two men were killed as they attempted to take a selfie with a hand grenade, which they had pulled the pin out of. They were survived by the smartphone containing their selfie.

Russia has also developed into a global hub for “roofers,” a group of people who enjoy sneaking onto high buildings and taking selfies from hundreds of meters up in the air. The subculture regularly produces photos and videos which go viral on social media, but the potential for tragedy is ever present.

Some of the most famous videos feature young men hanging from cranes and bridges using just one arm for support. Howling winds and snowy conditions only add to the drama, and the potential for internet stardom. It is exactly this kind of pursuit of selfie fame that the Ministry of Internal Affairs appears to want to discourage.

Selfies apparently reduce human intelligence

While Russia may have a problem with people risking their lives in search of social media’s coolest selfie, the U.S. has a selfie problem of its own. A number of reports tell the story of narcissistic thieves incriminating themselves by uploading selfies taken with digital devices that they have just stolen.

One incident in Houston saw two members of the so-called “Money Team” take celebratory selfies with an iPad that they had just stolen, blissfully unaware of the fact that they were automatically uploaded to the iCloud. Another farcical selfie story occurred in Denver, where an iPhone thief spent an entire day snapping selfies which were automatically uploaded to the victim’s Facebook account.

If you think that you can keep your head while you take selfies, you should consider buying the specially adapted ASUS ZenFone Selfie, which makes taking pictures of yourself that much easier. Just remember to stay safe while you do so.

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