If you’ve ever used your mobile camera to photograph an event – be it a gig, somebody’s birthday party or a fellow passenger on the bus – and then subsequently posted the picture online for everyone to see, you must have asked yourself a question: is this morally ok to do that? ‘Cause if you haven’t, you might want to read this brilliant and rather shocking piece by Paul Carr, “After Fort Hood, another example of how ‘citizen journalists’ can’t handle the truth”. Whether you like Paul Carr or not, he’s made a few very valid points around the issues of privacy and morality of social media – and citizen journalists in particular – with two videos to back them up (warning: one of the videos contains graphic images of the final moments of Neda Agha-Soltan, killed during the Iranian election protests earlier this year). I won’t summarise the post here, please read it and draw your own conclusions.
Just don’t interpret Paul’s words as a sweeping statement which has little to do with reality. It isn’t. And I was reminded of it while reading this article about a man in south London, who brought traffic to a halt by threatening to jump off a building.
The incident lasted for hours and obviously attracted a large crowd. Some people shouted for him to jump. Others, as is obvious from the picture that accompanies this article, were filming or photographing the man.
Even without Paul Carr’s article I didn’t doubt for a moment that had the man jumped, the video would have been uploaded to YouTube within a matter of hours. Do you?