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Russia Attempts to Stem Tide of Dangerous Selfies Using Cartoons

Daniel Bean
Assistant Editor
Yahoo Tech

Not “safe selfies,” according to Russia. (Image: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation)

Of the many challenges facing the Russian people today — violent Islamic State separatists, a falling economyLGBT discrimination, and a seemingly endless supply of Vladimir Putin body doubles — the Kremlin has finally given us a hint of where it will focus its efforts: the eradication of dangerous selfies.

A new guide to taking “safe selfies” was announced Tuesday by Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. The downloadable handbook provides some suggestions as to when and where it might be a bit too dangerous to snap a selfie, complete with graphic examples.

According to the Russian government, inappropriate times to selfie include while you’re in a boat, driving a car, in the middle of a street, walking up stairs, climbing a mountain, engaging in gunplay, squatting on power lines, stepping in front of moving streetcars, and dangling from rooftop TV antennas.

A “safe selfie,” according to Russia. (Image: Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation)

And, no, this new campaign isn’t simply an offhand way for Putin and company to foist more prohibitions onto the Russian people. The launch of the PSA program follows a spring of fatal accidents, in Russia and elsewhere around the world, that were the result of ill-advised attempted selfies. Many of the techniques used are listed as explicit no-no’s in Russia’s “safe selfie” guidelines.

“With all the advantages of the modern world, new threats appear,” Assistant Minister of Internal Affairs Elena Alekseeva explained in a statement about the new “safe selfie” campaign. “We want to remind citizens that the pursuit of ‘likes’ in social networks can lead to the road of death.”

In addition to making the guide available online, police in Russia will hand out printed versions at schools and public events throughout the country.

Besides its many suggestions as to how not to take a selfie, the Ministry provides only one positive example of a “safe selfie” (see above), so we thought we could help by attaching more below. Because, after all, this campaign is probably the first piece of Russian public policy we’ve ever felt we could fully get behind.

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Via Business Insider