Images of War and Victims in the Social Media

Posted on July 24, 2014


As citizen journalists, bloggers, tweeps etc., we often celebrate social media and citizen journalism for being open, free, collaborative and uncensored. What we must never compromise though, is the ethical considerations about the people and events we cover. Also when it comes to the images we share.

During this last week, harsh images from both Gaza and the MH17 crash have been circulating social media platforms. However, as important it is for us to share information and documentation, as important it must be always to consider carefully the people and the events that we present and represent.

Creating awareness is one of my own sources of motivation for working with communication, development and human rights – and self-censorship is to me one of the biggest threats when it comes to digital activism and human rights. Nevertheless, I cannot help but wonder: When is it necessary and crucial to share pictures of dead bodies, and when is it insensitive and disrespectful? Where is the ethical limit (if there is one)?