Russian Government Launches a ‘Safe Selfie’ Campaign

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Following a series of selfie-related deaths, the Russian Ministry of Interior Affairs has launched a campaign to promote safe selfie-taking practices.

The ministry has produced a practical picture booklet that advises selfie takers to avoid dangerous activities when taking photos, such as leaping across metro lines, posing for photos with tigers, playing Russian roulette, or scaling high-voltage transmission towers.

The safe selfie campaign is not as absurd as it might at first seem. Young people have a proclivity for risk seeking behaviors. Members of the Ukrainian urban climbing group Mustang Wanted, for example, have put their lives at risk by climbing some of the tallest buildings in Moscow and the Ukraine to capture selfies in extremely dangerous situations.

Each graphic in the pamphlet relays a story of someone who was killed or maimed while taking a dangerous selfie. The animation advising against climbing transmission towers, for example, comes with a short narrative about a ninth grade boy, identified only as Maxim, who was killed “after falling over 100 feet when he accidentally grabbed a live wire while taking a selfie.”

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