Facebook 'Planking' Blamed in Death

Aussie man falls to death from balcony posing in weird trend

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted May 16, 2011 2:41 AM CDT | Updated May 16, 2011 5:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The odd Facebook trend of "planking" has been blamed for the death of an Aussie who slipped off a seven-story balcony. The accident occurred as the 20-year-old man was apparently on the ledge trying to balance for photo of himself lying "like a plank." It's part of a trend of people taking pictures of themselves lying stiffly with arms pressed to their sides in funny or precarious locations. Tens of thousands of Facebook users have "liked" pages like Planking Australia, Planking Ireland, and Planking Norway, notes CNN. The posers are trying to "outdo" each other by taking bigger risks when they "plank."

The "potential disaster increases as more and more risks are taken to get the ultimate photo," said a statement by Queensland police. "If you want to take a photo of yourself planking on a park bench two foot off the ground, there are no risks with that. But when you start doing it seven stories up or lying across a railway line, that's what we have a concern about. Is it worth life in a wheelchair to take a funny photo to impress somebody you don't know on the Internet?" Queensland cops last week busted a man photographing himself lying face down on a police car. The trend apparently started in 2009 on Facebook as the "Lying Down Game."

An unidentified planker shows off on Facebook.
An unidentified planker shows off on Facebook.   (Facebook)
Another wacky planker.
Another wacky planker.   (Facebook)
A Facedbook 'planker' (not the one who fell to his death) poses precariously on a sign.
A Facedbook 'planker' (not the one who fell to his death) poses precariously on a sign.   (Facebook)
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