Russia: 'Safe selfie' campaign launched by government

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The booklet showing unsafe activities inside road-sign style signsImage source, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Image caption,
The authorities want to stop people taking risks to try to impress friends on social media

A campaign to make young people think twice before snapping selfies in dangerous situations has been launched by the Russian government.

The interior ministry's Safe Selfie campaign is a response to a spate of incidents in which youngsters were seriously injured, or in some cases killed, while trying to take pictures of themselves, the Izvestia newspaper reports. The campaign's motto is: "Even a million 'likes' on social media are not worth your life and well-being."

An illustrated booklet has been issued warning people about dangerous selfie scenarios, including snapping a photo while halfway up an electricity pylon, standing in front of an oncoming train, or while in the company of a wild animal. Police officers will also hold selfie-safety lessons at schools, according to the ministry.

The authorities say several recent incidents involving young people could have been avoided. In May, a 21-year-old woman survived accidentally shooting herself in the head while posing for a selfie with a gun in Moscow. There have also been several cases of children being electrocuted while taking selfies on top of railway carriages.

"Today technical advances do not stand still, but with all the advantages there are new challenges and threats," ministry official Yelena Alekseyeva told reporters during the campaign's launch on Tuesday. "Our booklet reminds you of how to take a safe selfie, so it is not the last one you will ever take."

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