BALTIMORE – A Maryland congressman is sounding the alarm about a dangerous social media trend called “subway surfing.”
“Subway surfing” is a challenge where people are filmed riding on top of moving subway cars. It claimed the life of a Maryland teenager over the summer.
“I think that’s very, very dangerous,” Baltimore resident Shawn Matthews said.
Rep. Jamie Raskin is urging social media companies to take action to prevent anyone else from getting injured to killed.
The trend has become popular with teenagers and then shared on social media platforms.
Raskin recently sent letters to Washington D.C. Metro leaders, along with Meta and TikTok, warning them of this dangerous challenge.
In June, a 15-year-old from Maryland, identified as Jay Thirunarayanapuram, died doing the challenge on the DC Metro.
“I’ve lived in Baltimore all my life and I’ve never seen nobody do nothing like that,” Matthews said.
The Maryland Transportation Administration says they have not had any incidents of “subway surfing” in our area, but there have been in New York City and Washington D.C.
“I think the social media has to take responsibility for enabling that kind of thing to happen,” Raskin said.
The 15-year-old’s teen’s parents speaking out about the tragedy.
“Teenagers, they think they’re invincible,” Viashali Honawar said. “They think nothing bad is going to happen to them and jay thought that too.”
Social media companies like TikTok have been removing subway surfing videos from their platform.
But Raskin’s letters urge the companies to be more diligent about what is posted on their platforms to help prevent dangerous social media trends from going viral.
“Social media shouldn’t just stick their heads in the sand and say, well, ‘you know, people are going to do what they want to do,'” Raskin said. “They should take some responsibility for trying to prevent these crazy challenges from spreading online.”