So, we all know internet challenges can be fun. Some of them are relatively harmless, such as the ice bucket challenge, which, by the way, raised millions for The ALS Association as the challenge was meant to raise awareness and support for the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. But then there are internet challenges trending on social media that are dangerous as hell and even outright deadly.
This brings us to the “subway surfing” challenge.
Now, it shouldn’t have to be explained to anyone that riding on top of or outside a subway train can get you killed, but, apparently, that doesn’t need to be explained—to a lot of people. In fact, subway surfing became such a huge problem in New York City that Mayor Eric Adams and MTA officials said Tuesday that social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok have agreed to automatically remove any online videos that show people (mostly teenagers) engaging in the life-risking daredevil activity.
From the Gothamist:
MTA officials said 2,600 videos and photos of subway surfing have been stripped from the social media platforms in recent months.
“Young people are being subjected to massive doses of video and material that was glorifying this,” MTA Chair Janno Lieber said during a news conference. “They (tech companies) developed algorithms to weed it out and they’re working with us to take it down.”
The MTA is also launching an awareness campaign on the dangers of subway surfing, which includes public service announcements created by city school students as well as special MetroCards and posters with the slogan “Ride Inside, Stay Alive, Subway Surfing Kills.”
“It is about peer-to-peer communication, interaction to stop this horrific action that is taking lives and injuring individuals and that impact cascades out into their peer group,” Adams said during a news conference announcing the campaign.
NYPD data shows police have made 88 arrests related to subway surfing so far this year, up from 30 during the same period of 2022.
Last year, 17-year-old Kosse Laureano died while riding on top of a train. The video footage the teen collected of him performing the deadly stunt was used earlier this year in an exhibition displayed at the Oculus Transit Center to highlight the dangers of subway surfing.
Be safe out there, folks. All internet attention isn’t good internet attention, and none of it is worth your life.
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