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No selfie sticks, museum says

Ban one of many in Canada, U.S.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has banned the use of selfie sticks inside the museum.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has banned the use of selfie sticks inside the museum.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/3/2015 (1863 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg's Canadian Museum for Human Rights is joining a growing number of institutions worldwide by cracking down on selfie sticks, the camera extenders used by people for more flattering photos of themselves.

"We've decided that if it comes up, we would ask people not to use them because of safety concerns for our visitors and for our exhibits," said museum spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry.

"Some of the selfie sticks have very long extensions that could collide with some of our sensitive technology here if people were distracted."

Selfie sticks, which hold cameras or smartphones at one end and can be used to take selfies beyond arm's length, are growing more popular with people trying to take photos from up high, or get more people in their photos. They also mean tourists don't have to ask passersby to take their picture.

The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa also bans the selfie stick, grouping it with other banned camera equipment such as monopods and tripods. The museum says paintings could be damaged by patrons waving around their selfie sticks.

The MTS Centre says it doesn't allow any kind of sticks, including selfie sticks (walking sticks are fine).

In the U.S., selfie sticks have been banned at various prominent institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, as well as the National Gallery of Art.

Jacqueline Verdier, CEO of Selfie on a Stick, a New York company that sells selfie sticks, said the sticks have several advantages.

"You can use the selfie on a stick when you're on vacation and if you are somewhere where you might not be 100 per cent confident handing over your phone, which contains all your personal information these days," Verdier said. "You can just take the picture yourself."

Selfies might sound like a millennial thing to do, but as Verdier said, "Everybody loves the selfie sticks."

She said selfie sticks are popular at weddings and parties.

"I think the demographic of people that are actually using the stick is probably going to be the millennial generation, but the people who are actually purchasing the stick is really quite broad," Verdier said.

Fitzhenry said it was important for the museum that people continue to take pictures and selfies and share them, but wanted visitors to avoid using selfie sticks or equipment such as tripods and monopods that could damage exhibits.

inayat.singh@freepress.mb.ca

Are selfies a human right or proof we are too self-absorbed? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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History

Updated on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:04 AM CST: Replaces photo

7:08 AM: Adds question for discussion

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