Thank you for your sensitive and thoughtful commentary, required reading for all who use social media.
Nicole, You have got to be kidding!!
I agree with Cornelius Quinn, Richard, osz, and Michael Benjamin.
For each time you asked about a person having a "right" I was saying, "No, they don't" except here at the end ("Itís hard to know what to do about this lack of respect for human life (and death). Yes, people have freedom of expression. Does that right imply, though, that we must give up the privacy of our dying moments if we have the misfortune to die in public?") Which is one non-sequitor after another and includes a completely wrong-headed question. Just because one can string some words together accurately according to grammar doesn't mean the question is valid.
Death belongs to the living. However they choose to memorialize the horror of death and dying doesn't bother me. The photos are window into a time lost to memory. Where would be as nation if we didn't have Civil War battlefield photos or black lynching victims (and their grinning killers)? What is humanity without awareness of its cruelty? Where would some Christians be without the image of our broken savior upon the cross?
Whether you think this development is worrisome or wonderful, the real question is: what are you going to do about it? I think that any "cure" would be worse than the "disease". Why not ask Bloomberg for possible solutions? I'm sure he'll come up with all kinds of things to ban.
I don't have any answers, but would note that for years there have been websites that cater to people who enjoy looking at pictures of mutilated corpses. Loved ones harmed by such sites should be able to recover damages, but I assume they can't, or the sites wouldn't exist.
Isn't it all just an exciting reality version of a certain type of Hollywood genre, or even better, of that gruesome stable of forensic crime procedurals with the cute guy and the quirky sidekicks etc? People are feeding off this stuff for their own gratification or to boost their egos as a substitute for some kind of authentic life engagement. They presume to insert themselves into the events but don't take any empathy and respect with them because it is ultimately not about the other person. This Boston response ought to be the moment where we start taking a good look at where we are going as a civilisation.
The greatest damage from the "amateurs" comes not from them but what the lazy mainstream media does with the video and still images.
They took the original Rodney King video which clearly showed a hopped up King resisting arrest after a high speed chase and attacking officers before he was ever searched by the police. This no doubt was the reason the jurors who viewed the ENTIRE tape acquitted the officers.
A brief 40 second clip which served their political agenda was what we saw ad nauseum.
I disagree. I think that it is partially due to continuously and patronisingly being shielded from reality that people grow up with romantic notions of death, injury and conflict. In any case, cry "O tempora, o mores" or embrace it, news coverage will not go back to what it has been in the past.
Pass the kleenex.
Nicole, you've got to be kidding.
Those pictures are now evidence. And it's evidence that cannot be covered up or 'lost'.
And you know it.
The 'professional' press had made itself a dinosaur decades ago. The 'professional' press no longer do any real digging. 'Exhibit A' would be noontime Wednesday, April 17. At least 100 members of the 'professional' press waited patiently outside of the Joseph Moakley Courthouse by the waterfront in Boston for word of who the authorities would announce as the 'prime suspect' in the bombings. At the same time, 'amature' Alex Jones was sitting in his studio 100's of miles away in a different timezone.
In the span of less than 5 minutes (real time) Alex and his 'amature' crew changed the game.
While the mainstream/corporate media world was waiting for their narrative/instructions from CNN a little 'amature' syndicated talkradio show was livestreaming video from the studio at the same time...and the 'professionals' were paying close attention.
It went like this, Nicole. Alex announced that his team found the 4chan and imgur pics. Seconds later, there was a fictional 'bombthreat' at the courthouse. While Alex was showing the world the pictures, CNN was scrambling to change their story/fairytale. While the corporate press were being pushed back 100's of feet away from the courthouse (for their protection, of course...if you believe that I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you 1/2 price) Alex was asking question after question while showing picture after picture after AMATURE picture.
An SUV went into the courthouse and the authorities picked up their original patsies...and then they left. They were paying attention to Alex, too.
All of that really happened and it really happened in less than 5 minutes.
Nicole, if you can't embrace the power the 'amature' press now has you are no better than those controllers/despots/megalomaniacs who despised the power of the Gutenberg printing press centuries ago.
The only people afraid of us, the amatures, are people afraid of the truth getting out to the people.
Thank you. Sensativity is being lost and civilization is deminished by it. Articles like this need to be more greatly distribute so as to educate the "instant information" generation to have respect for others.