Think of the dumbest viral trend you’ve ever seen. Now multiply it by 1,000 and voila, you have the #DeadPose challenge.
A new craze has been sweeping South Africa – and it’s extremely disturbing.
Photos of young men and women pretending to be dead under the hashtag #DeadPose have been appearing online – bodies twisted, eyes rolled back, and sometimes even placed in graphic, bloody scenes.
The shameful trend started on Facebook:
Then made it’s way to Twitter:
— itumelengSA (@IMelidah) January 8, 2017
And finally, it reached Instagram:
Karabo Mnisi, the 19-year-old behind the craze – which he insists is ‘no different from the ice bucket challenge’ – dismissed the backlash as ‘missing the point’.
Mnisi told the Daily Mail that early examples of the trend were ‘rather tame’, with bodies twisted into awkward positions. More recent additions, however, are increasingly graphic.
“We are now only in phase two of these posts,” he said. “The first phase showed no cuts, wounds or bloody, but now phase two includes people who are covered in blood, who have been violently killed.”
Mnisi insisted he would not halt the craze until he had achieved his aim – to become South Africa’s most influential Facebook celebrity – with 40,000 followers, and warned the graphic content would only get worse until then.
#DeadPose will not stop until I reach my set target of 40 000 followers on Facebook
If you’re thinking ‘what the actual fuck?’, you’re not alone.
It’s not going down well with Twitter users, either:
#DeadPose is the dumbest & most insensitive trend ever?
— @lungelozamani ? (@RohschaN) January 8, 2017
This #deadpose challenge needs to stop. It's all fun and games until something terrible happens.
— Khanya Mkangisa (@KhanyaMkangisa) January 8, 2017
— Charles Manase (@Charles1Manase) January 8, 2017
Unfortunately for Mnisi, I don’t think starting an inappropriate online trend constitutes as ‘influential’. On top of that, the self-proclaimed ‘#DeadPose founder’ only has 439 of his desired 40,000 followers on Facebook.
But it doesn’t look like he’s stopping anytime soon, saying: “The next phase is going to be even more graphic if I don’t reach my aim.”
Mnisi told the Daily Mail that the inspiration for the craze was inspired by one of the most iconic photographs from South Africa’s apartheid history – the image of fatally-injured Hector Pieterson who was killed in the Soweto Uprising of 1976 at the age of 13.
If you didn’t think the trend was grossly inappropriate already, it sure as hell is now.
And perhaps the most disturbing thing to come out of the trend is this video, where a young girl is tricked into believing her aunt is dead.
This #DeadPose thing This is actually not even funny. Poor child…. This could traumatise this baby for life ??
If this is what Generation Y is coming to, we’re all fucked.