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Selfie Police: a chance to be selfless

staff writer

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 00:01


Ashlee Flygare photo illustration is dedicated to raising money for those who cannot afford college. People who participate pay $1 each time they post a selfie on a social media website.

Some people take them daily, hourly or every few minutes. Others wait for a colorful background or wardrobe change. Yet others find them tasteless, vain and unnecessary.


What are they? They’re selfies — and they are everywhere.


But what if selfies suddenly became a very selfless option?


That’s the goal of the Selfie Police, a new social trend created by Chas Barton, 24, and Dustin Locke, 25, by inviting selfie takers to fine themselves $1 per selfie. Every dollar raised goes to Vittana, a non-profit organization that provides micro-loans to college students in Third World countries, Barton said.


Barton and Locke formulated the idea in a 24-hour creativity competition at BYU a year ago, Locke said.


“We talked until three in the morning, went to bed, came back in the morning,” he said. “We kind of hit at the idea all day and couldn’t think of anything. Then, about two hours before pitch time, we thought of the idea.”


They took second place in the competition.


Locke said the idea of the competition was to connect nonprofit Vittana with the Millennial generation.


“Selfies are a very Millennial thing and getting kids to college is a very Millennial thing,” Locke said. “So we’re connecting people with similar interests, just in very different places.”


The idea did not develop into something concrete for several months until selfies began to take over social media, Locke said. The Oxford Dictionary named “selfie” the word of the year for 2013. Oxford Dictionary defines a selfie as a picture taken of oneself, by oneself and generally uploaded to various platforms of social media sites.


“Just this fall we started seeing the buzz of it with selfies,” Locke said. “We kind of decided we had to jump on it and that we were kind of dumb for not doing it beforehand.”

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