By Alex Fynes-Clinton, Rachel Claxton
More than 20,000 new followers have joined a Facebook page devoted to planking, despite a fatal fall involving a planking participant in Brisbane on the weekend.
Acton Beale of Kangaroo Point was planking on his balcony rail which is 5cm wide, when tragedy struck at 4.30am on Sunday and he plunged seven storeys to his death.
The accident, the first known fatality from the craze, has raised questions about whether the social network’s role has pushed this phenomenon too far.
Planking involves a person lying face down over various objects for the amusement of their friends and those involved in online communities.
The photos are posted on social-networking sites, with the most amusing positions and locations gaining the most attention.
Rockhampton resident and die-hard planker Ian Weir said people involving danger in this activity are missing the point.
“They are missing the idea of what it is about,’ he said.”It was just a random bit of fun with mates and something to have a little laugh about and now everyone is just pushing it too far.”
Brisbane Planking Association president Richard Litonjua said his organisation preaches safety and creativity over danger.
“We are still about the competitive side of it but competing in a creative, interesting, clever way as opposed to being extreme and irresponsible about it,” he said.
Queensland Police yesterday issued a statement on the planking Facebook page, warning of the potential dangers surrounding this activity.