A cool selfie could cost you your life

Russian police have recently launched a campaign describing how to safely take a ‘selfie’ after a series of deaths and injuries this year involving people who tried to take pictures in high-risk poses.

“The progress is not stalling and along with all of its benefits it also brings new challenges and threats. We have prepared the memo in order to remind our citizens how to behave so that a selfie does not become one’s last,” Elena Alekseyeva, an interior minister’s aide told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.

Dangerous selfie scenarios 

Some of the guidelines, which have been distributed by the media and on social networks, has pictures similar to traffic warning signs, showing situations where taking a selfie could be dangerous, the scenarios warn against taking a selfie in the following situations:

  • Near wild animals
  • While holding weapons
  • When you’re on the roof of a building (or generally on a high place, like a telephone mast).
  • In front of an oncoming train/traffic.

True events

Most of the warnings can be backed up with genuine, tragic events. A teenager in Russia’s Ryazan Region was electrocuted while he tried to take a selfie on the top of a train, and in Moscow a 21 year old woman ended up shooting herself in the head after she posed with a gun loaded with rubber bullets.

The campaign also includes leaflets, a video and advice on the interior ministry’s website. The ministry has announced that they will add a page to their website solely dedicated to taking selfies safely, members of the public will be encouraged to tell their own stories where taking a selfie posed a threat to health or their life.

The leaflets will be handed out by police officers to members of the public, with a particular focus on the younger generation. In the public safety video, shots from ‘roofers’ are used, this is a subculture that illicitly enters and climbs to the top of high rise buildings or monuments and take photos.

“Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of ’likes’ could lead someone on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous,” Alexeyeva warned.