India has had the highest number of selfie-related deaths according to new research.
A study found that between March 2014 and September 2016, 60 per cent of all “selfie deaths”, where a person dies while trying to take a picture of themselves, occurred in India.
According to Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths, a collaborative study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi, the country was the backdrop to 76 of the 127 reported selfie deaths in the 18 month period.
It’s such a big issue, Mumbai police are even considering a proposal to designate 15 particularly dangerous sites in the city as 'selfiefree points', reported The Times of India.
After a 17-year-old girl died at Marine Drive while trying to take a selfie with her friends on 28 June, police tweeted out a warning message.
It said: “Don't make 'taking a selfie' mean 'taking your own life'."
Priti Pise drowned when a wave crashed onto the parapet and dragged her out to sea. Other selfie-related deaths in recent years have included engineering student Meenakshi Rajesh, 21, who slipped and drowned at Bandra Bandstand in May 2017 while taking a photo with her sister and mother.
Meanwhile Tarannum Ansari, an 18-year-old student, was swept into the Bandra sea while taking a selfie with her friends in May 2016.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Paramjeet Dahiya, told The Times of India: “We deploy bandobast [police protection] at selfie points when the tide is high. When the weather is rough, we request people not to go near the sea to take selfies. The personnel on bandobast are sufficiently briefed not to let people pull dangerous stunts.”
Outside of India, a dangerous trend of bear selfies was reported in 2014 in the US, which led to the US Forest Service warning against the dangerous practice. “Visitor Centre staff routinely encounter unsafe situations as guests ignore their instructions and get too close to bears to take photos and videos,” the Forest Service warned in a statement. Few listened though, and dozens of snaps were taken with the dangerous animals in the background.
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