Wu Yongning was one of a few people in the world called rooftoppers. This gravity-defying adventurer accrued a huge following online with his stunts. His photos and videos spread like wildfire across social media. However, his days of thrill-seeking have come to a swift and untimely end. Now, his story serves as a lesson for anyone eager to be social media-famous.
Wu Yongning captivated viewers with his exploits. He would climb the tallest buildings he could find — without safety equipment. The man without fear made ample use of his selfie sticks as he posted footage of his climbs online.
It’s particularly interesting, considering he was a Chinese native. Some of the tallest buildings in the world are in China. And, the Chinese government doesn’t look too kindly on that kind of behavior. Yet, Wu Yongning continued his exploits, building an audience millions strong.
However, those days are now over. In an attempt to score a promotional deal, Wu Yongning fell from one of those skyscrapers. He suffered injuries that led to his death.
A daredevil climber was attempting to scale a 62-story skyscraper in China when he plunged to his death, according to media reports.
Wu Yongning, a so-called “rooftopper,” had earned a huge following on social media by climbing tall buildings without safety equipment and posting vertigo-inducing selfies and videos online. However, the 26-year-old fell from the top of the 62-story Huayuan Hua Centre in the Chinese city of Changsha, The Telegraph reports.
The daredevil was reportedly attempting to claim $11,200 for a clip promoting an unnamed sponsor. Citing police, The Sun reports that Wu fell about 45 feet onto a terrace and died of fatal injuries either during or shortly after the accident. [Source: Fox News]
— sketsanewscom (@sketsanewscom) December 12, 2017
Over 15 million people have watched Wu’s final moments. The video shows the man trying to scale the sheer side of a modern skyscraper. As you can imagine, these buildings aren’t made for climbing. Even the experienced rooftopper couldn’t get a solid grip. After a few minutes of struggling, his arms and hands undoubtedly gave out.
The video ends as the man falls out of view.
Local authorities investigating the case described it as an “accident” and have already ruled out foul play.
Fans of the fearless stuntman, who regularly gained millions of views on his live-streamed performances, are now flooding his social media page with tributes…
As security personnel were also present on the hotel’s top floor, she said she believes her boyfriend took a lift to “over 40 floors” and then free-climbed “nearly 20 more floors” to reach the position where he filmed.
She also revealed that Wu had struck a deal with an unnamed sponsor for his next video, which, had it gone viral, would have earned him 100,000 RMB (£11,300). [Source: The Sun]
As tragic as this story is, it shows us what lengths people will go to score views online. Social media has become so powerful, people will do anything to earn recognition. Wu literally scaled the highest towers, just to get hits on his social accounts.
You have to wonder about the sponsor who was willing to pay him so much for this. They were willing to let Wu put himself in serious danger. But, why? So, a video could go viral and maybe they’ll sell a few more products.
It’s a lesson for all of us. Popularity online is not worth the cost. Risking your life so needlessly, just to earn a payday, often ends in tragedy. Now, Wu’s family and loved ones have to suffer the pain of losing him forever.
What do you think? Is popularity on social media worth your life? Do you love watching daredevils scale skyscrapers? Do you have a friend or relative who is eager to be Internet famous? Maybe they’d benefit from learning about this story.