India Declares War On Unsafe Selfies
Enlarge this graphic toggle caption Harish Parmar/EyeEm/Getty Images Harish Parmar/EyeEm/Getty Images
What lengths would you go to snap an ideal selfie?
For a lot of, the answer is actually: too far.
Take India, for instance.
In July, a 28-year-old man sneaked right into a restricted safari area at the Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bengalurum along with his friends. He held his camera up to get a image of himself with an elephant. The pet trampled him to death.
That same month, several persons were trying to have a selfie on a cliff at Nagoa Beach. As waves crashed into the cliff, they fell in the Arabian Sea and were swept away. Every one of them drowned.
India’s authorities will be out to quash risky selfies, joining various other countries like Russia (which includes created signs and campaigns to promote safe selfie-spending) and Spain (which includes banned persons from taking selfies through the annual jogging of the bulls).
The Mumbai police has discovered 16 accident-prone zones in the location where selfie-related deaths were rising. They are trying to raise awareness about the risks of selfies at places like Mumbai’s iconic seafront at Marine Travel and the popular Girgaum Chowpatty Beach. The was made in the wake of a selfie-related accident in January 2016, when three young ladies slipped while taking a selfie and fell into the normal water in Bandra, a beachfront neighborhood in Mumbai. A passer-by preserved two of them; the third drowned – and their rescuer is also thought to have drowned.
And in June, this YouTube video tutorial, sponsored by the mobile giant Samsung, Nitin Gadkari, India’s minister for shipping, road transportation and highways urged persons to use their mobile phones responsibly.
These dire selfie warnings seriously the heels of a study published last year: Me personally, Myself and My Killfie. The name of the report uses the word “killfie” to spell it out selfies taken under circumstances dangerous more than enough to kill you.
To find these “killfies,” researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in New Delhi rounded up newspaper information and data about selfie deaths worldwide.
Because the study depends on media accounts, it isn’t a definitive tally of deaths by selfie worldwide. “There is very little empirical info [on selfie-related deaths] at the moment,” says Rajendran Narayanan, a public scientist based in Trichy, India, and ex – dean of arts at Bharathidasan University who did not work on the report.
Enlarge this graphic toggle caption Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images) Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)
The results of the study, even so, are indicative of a more substantial trend, he notes. “As the act of taking a selfie in itself isn’t harmful or unsafe, taking a selfie in a unsafe location is certainly,” he says. “As a society, we need to be familiar with this.”
The research team found accounts of 127 reported deaths by selfie between 2014 to 2016, with more than half in India. Among the causes of death: taking selfies with wildlife, on railway tracks and in moving vehicles.
Deaths caused by taking a selfie with a gun were reported in the U.S. and Russia but did not appear to be an Indian phenomenon.
The researchers didn’t only want to keep count of selfie deaths. They wished to create a program to identify dangerous areas for selfie-taking.
“We analyzed the data of a large number of dangerous locations in India and around the world,” says Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, a pc scientist at IIIT. The workforce also studied photos posted to social press with the hashtags #dangerousselfies and #extremeselfies to recognize potentially hazardous selfie adjustments. They used the study to build an software called Saftie, which launched in June and is currently is available for download free of charge on Android cell phones. (Saftie is certainly a mash-up of “basic safety” and “selfie.”)
The software sends users a text if they are near a location that poses a threat to selfie-takers. Users may also be notified if they’re at the locations where in fact the 127 selfie deaths from the the study occurred.
The developers expectation that users may build on its assets. Anyone with access to the software can contribute. If three persons mark a location as risky, the software will add it to the set of danger spots. This system helps safeguard the software from pranksters.
Ultimately, the researchers only want persons to be safe when taking a selfie. Perhaps the Mumbai police said it best. Right before this year’s monsoon time of year in June, they warned persons not to take selfies in the hefty rains.
Don’t make ‘spending a selfie’ mean ‘taking your own existence’ #SafeMonsoonTips pic.twitter.com/9YMYjapA78 – Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) June 28, 2017
They wrote on Twitter: “Don’t make ‘taking a selfie’ mean ‘taking your own life.’ ”
Kamala Thiagarajan is a freelance journalist based in Madurai, South India. Her job has made an appearance in The International NY Times, BBC Travel and Forbes India. You can follow her @kamal_t