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Researchers create an app that aims to prevent selfie deaths

Researchers create an app that aims to prevent selfie deaths

Date: 23 November 2016 16:34

A group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University recently published a report titled, ‘Me, Myself and My Killfie,’ in which they studied over 120 selfie deaths. They hope to create a system that discourages and thereby, prevent selfie deaths.
 
According to the report, there are a total of 127 deaths linked to someone taking or attempting to take a selfie between 2014 and September 2016. The researchers found that the greatest number of deaths happened in India with 76, followed by Pakistan with 9 and US with 8.
 
The researchers carefully studied the factors that caused the deaths. They found that most deaths involved people falling from a great height. The second most occurring cause was water wherein multiple people drowned while trying to take a selfie. Other factors include taking a selfie close to rail tracks before being hit by a train, while holding a weapon such as a gun or while close to an animal that later attacked the person taking the photo.
 
The researchers found that most of these were below age of 24 and while women take more selfies than men do, the latter is more prone to taking more dangerous selfies.
 
Gathering all the data, the researchers built a tool that identifies whether a selfie posted on social media was taken in a dangerous or potentially fatal location. They used this tool to detect approximately 138,000 selfies posted on Twitter and were able to identify the relevant elements with a 73.6 per cent accuracy rate.
 
The team said that they will use the tool to build an app in the future that works towards notifying people when they are about to take a dangerous selfie. The app may have a map marked with ‘red zones’ noted as particularly dangerous terrain, or links to news reports of previous selfie-related injuries that occurred there in the past. Moreover, it could even prevent you from launching your phone’s camera app before moving to a safer location.



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