All tied up: 'How to escape' videos go viral

By BBC Trending
What's popular and why

Image source, Facebook
Image caption,
A video of a girl escaping from a zip tie has been watched more than 50 million times

There's a certain scene in Quantum of Solace where James Bond is captured, led into a lift and his hands are zip tied from behind. He knocks out his captor, grabs a knife and frees his hands in seconds. But he's James Bond. In reality, it takes a little longer to escape from zip tie. We know, because there are plenty of viral videos to show you how.

The most recent video that has followed this intriguing viral trend was uploaded on 1 September and has been shared more than 59 million times. American Facebook user Michelle O'Neal uploaded a video showing her daughter demonstrating how to escape a zip tie in less than a minute.

Image source, Facebook

The girl, named as Taylor, is seen to breaking free from restraints by using her shoelaces. She explains that she is doing the demonstration, "in case you ever get kidnapped".

The video, which has been shared more than 31,000 times, contains the accompanying message: "Could your kids escape if they were handcuffed with a zip tie? Teach them how to free themselves in less than a minute!"

Image source, Facebook

Her father Steve told Central Florida's News 6 programme that he made the video because he "wanted my children to see if a situation like this came up how to get out of it".

And he's not alone in doing so. There are several videos, each with millions of views, demonstrating how best to escape from a zip tie.

Image source, YouTube

Will Ballard of Alpha Watch, which is a safety awareness website, has made one such video.

"Personally I think people are starting to realise the need for something more than just a martial art, or a self defence, due to the rise in kidnaps, knife attacks, lone wolf attacks and terrorist attacks in the world, and how unprepared people are for such events," Ballard tells BBC Trending,

"Anyone who keeps on top of the news can see the rise of constant, more severe attacks and crimes and wants to know how they can avoid being another crime statistic. YouTube videos such as these enable people to learn these valuable skills without having to attend a course or class and therefore tend to be very popular."

Image source, Pinterest

But, given the number of videos on sites that YouTube that feature children escaping from such situations, has there been a real "rise" in the number of instances of offences such as child kidnap?

According to the FBI 2014 report the estimated number of violent crimes reported decreased by 0.2% when compared to 2013 data, while the estimated number of property crimes decreased by 4.3% from 2013 levels.

Psychologist Amanda Perl tells BBC Trending that social media may be contributing to fear in people, especially parents, regarding potential threats. "To my mind, parents are often left feeling ill equipped, deskilled and frightened at the daunting task of taking care of their children when they feel so out of control in the world themselves.

"Again, with the advent of social media bringing global news closer it appears that, although barbaric acts have been practiced throughout the world for centuries, groups like Isis "appear" and are perceived as a relatively new phenomenon, closer to home, thereby creating more anxiety through parents feeling that they are overwhelmed with responsibility as they are feeling so small and insignificant and not enough to care to for their children."

Blog by Megha Mohan

Image source, Dro2614

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