A child dies in an accident due to a viral challenge to drive 50 hours without a break | technology

A five-year-old boy died last night, his mother and his three-year-old sister were in serious condition when they crashed into a car in which five young men were traveling, who, according to the first investigations, were participating in a viral spread. The challenge is spread over the networks which consists of driving without a break for 50 hours. They are new victims of absurd challenges, such as using drugs to have hallucinations or seeing sleep last after they have eaten or staying up longer by sniffing deodorants or pesticides. The event reopens the debate about the responsibility for these challenges, regarding which there is a legislative vacuum and no reliable statistics.

Effie stated that the accident occurred on Wednesday night in the Romanian suburb of Casale Palocco. The five young men were traveling in a luxury SUV that collided with a small vehicle that was inhabited by three family members of the victims of the accident.

The five young men, four boys and a girl in their twenties, used the networks to gain popularity with recordings in luxury cars and evidence suggests that, this time, they were participating in a 50-hour non-stop driving challenge. His YouTube channel, which promotes online challenges, has amassed 600,000 subscribers and 152 million views since 2020.

This event reopens the debate about responsibility for the sometimes fatal consequences of viral challenges spread on networks. Although there are no reliable statistics, the trickle of cases is consistent and the legislation presents loopholes on how to address it, other than the event itself.

During a CSI Radar meeting on security, which is taking place this week in the Andalusian capital, Gabriel González, attorney general for computer crimes from the Seville Public Prosecutor’s Office, raised: “What is done with viral challenges, what happens when a minor is harmed by a skinny challenge or Putting a condom in the nostrils or who swallows the most deodorant?” “You have to see if you should be punished. In the real world, it is not the gunsmith who is responsible for the murder, but the person who commits it,” he warns.

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In these cases, Gonzalez admits, In the criminal field, what is not in the law cannot be prosecuted in this way.

legal void

Cecilia Danesi, a lawyer who specializes in liability in the use of artificial intelligence, is a professor at several international universities and an author The Empire of Algorithms (recently published by Galerna), agrees with the Attorney General in the current legislative vacuum and notes that the European proposal for artificial intelligence, among its list of unacceptable risks, would ban “systems used to manipulate people’s behaviour”. “Imagine that I am a pervert and I want children to commit suicide, and for this I use my resources as human beings. But imagine that in addition to this, I use a generative model of artificial intelligence to help me implement it and this model is replicated. The spread of content on social networks also involves algorithms because they are the ones responsible for deciding everything We totally see it.”

In this sense, Ying Xie, researcher at the University of Texas and author of a paper on social networks, says that “these companies should consider how their recommendation policies can incentivize befriending and increased activity on the site. For example, Facebook’s suggestion features are generated by algorithms Based on content in which users have previously expressed interest and actions they have taken on the platform.

Like a prosecutor, Danesse explains that in the criminal field, “unlawful behavior has to be 100% consistent. There is no room for interpretation.” In this way, if it is not considered in the rule, it cannot be sued or judged. “In the civil sphere, compensation can be claimed,” he adds.

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In the case of those killed by viral challenges, the question is who: the person creating the challenge, or the platform broadcasting it? Danesi replies: “The person who creates the challenge is responsible because his behavior leads to harm to another person. The main problem is the causal link. It can be said that when creating the challenge he never thought that it would end in death. The platform also bears its responsibility because, as he explains, it must You can supervise the content that is posted, but with current systems it is impossible to monitor everything that is posted, especially according to the lawyer, when the challenge does not arouse suspicion at first, but becomes dangerous over time and difficult to detect.

Why do challenges become viral?

Francesc Núñez, sociologist of emotions and professor of humanities at the Universidad Uberta de Catalunya (UOC), explains, in part with information from the academic institution, why these challenges are pursued and so widespread. “Many of them have a dimension of the challenge, whether it’s competing against someone or yourself, or achieving something that requires agility, intelligence, or ingenuity. To the dimension involved in a challenge, we add personal motivation, fun, and ingenuity as well.”

For University of Oklahoma psychology professor Mireya Cabiru, there are three main reasons why someone might take part in a viral challenge: solidarity (in the case of challenges to raise awareness about a problem), a sense of belonging to a group or tradition and group entertainment, since many must be done as a team , as in the case of the fatal accident in Italy.

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The problem comes with serious challenges that put the integrity of a person or third party at risk. “This is very well built, and works just like a game in stages,” warns Silvia Severa, a professor in the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at the University of British Columbia. “They naturally choose the type of younger audience, especially teens, who share organically and equally the challenges in their networks.”

There are no statistics on these challenges. A study conducted by the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) and the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU), after surveying 417 minors from three autonomous regions, found that one in 10 Spanish adolescents admit to carrying out serious viral challenges.

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