When it comes to the internet and images, it truly can be a dangerous place. There are so many people taking images of everything around them, or sharing content that they deem interesting or something that should be shared that there is no way for people to be safe from all images. When someone posts something on their page, it shows up on others and whether or not you are ready for them, they can be seared into your mind.
Such is the case with photos from the Boston Bombing. While it is important for people to see the tragedy, and understand the horror that people went through that day, there is also the case of people being bombarded with horrifyingly graphic images. Ethically, how does that work? What if you knew a loved one was running the marathon and while you were looking on their Facebook to see if they had posted something, an image of them in pain showed up on your feed unknowingly posted by someone else? Can you imagine the gut wrenching heartbreak? While someone did this unintentionally, while trying to get the information out to the public, it still should be thought about in more ways than one.
What about children who are on social media? On one hand, the argument is that children shouldn’t be on social media, but what is the age requirement, 13 years old? If they are friends with their aunts, uncles and cousins, odds are someone can share something that is graphic and unsettling and someone who should have warning is shocked by the images. While these occurrences are important and should not be diminished or ignored because of wanting to not scare people, at the same time, sometimes I think a graphic image warning would be great.
I know that images that are “Not Safe For Work” or NSFW have warnings, why not images that are graphic enough to emote a reaction of shock and horror? This way people would be aware of what is going on while not having the shock of seeing an image they were not prepared for.
Ethically, I think that people do not always take into consideration that what they are posting will be seen by others. I know I have not always considered the implications of what I am posting, it is natural to only think of what you want to post, and not of what other people will be seeing. However, I think that if people put a little more thought into what they post and if major companies took the time to create a warning on articles that are being shared across the web, it would make social media a safer place.