I don't really want to write about what happened in Boston yesterday. We don't really know what happened, aside from the facts that bombs went off and people were hurt and killed. What we don't know is who did this or why they did it, and now is not really the time for speculation. Lots of people have lots of ideas, of course. I've even thought about what the possibilities are. But I don't know anything concrete and nobody else really does, either.
However, I do want to take a moment to talk about what turned up on my Facebook feed in the hours after the bombings, and what some people were posting makes me so angry.
A few people could not resist the urge to post and re-post graphic, bloody photos of some of the victims of yesterday's events. I guess they thought...no, I don't know what they were thinking. If they were thinking. I do know that those photos are not appropriate to post on Facebook. Or anywhere else, for that matter. I question even the media use of those photos. Apparently the "if it bleeds, it leads" school of journalism is alive and well in the twenty-first century. But that's beside the point right now.
The point is, if people think they are "honoring the victims" of this tragedy by posting those photos, they're just wrong.
They are doing a couple of things. First, they are making the injured and dead, along with their families, victims all over again. Those photos are an invasion of the privacy of the victims, and of their friends and loved ones. If it were you, or your family member, or your friend, would you want to happen on one of those photos unexpectedly? I suspect not.
The other thing the people who post these photos are doing is playing right into the hands of whoever planted those bombs. They are giving them attention and they are spreading fear, which is exactly what whoever did this wants to happen. They want the attention, and they want to terrify people. That's why it's called terrorism.
I got so angry about this yesterday that I posted this, which says pretty much what I said here, on my FB page:
Please, do not post graphic photos of the victims of the events today in Boston. When you post those photos, you are not honoring the victims, you are violating their privacy. Also, when you post those photos you doing just exactly what whoever did this horrible thing wants you to do: you are giving them attention and spreading fear.
We all know that what happened was horrible. We do not need to see the bloody, graphic photos of the dead and injured to know that. So, please, send all the prayers and good wishes you want, but do not post graphic photos that only serve to victimize the victims and their families all over again.
I will re-post it there as many times as it takes to get people to stop this re-posting crap. I don't believe we need to see the graphic nature of the carnage in order to understand that something horrible happened in Boston yesterday. We are not stupid. We understand that this is something that should never, ever happen, but that happens all too often in the world. Re-posting those photos is not going to stop it from happening again.