Fake Photo, Real Massacre
Does the accuracy of a photo really matter when tragedy strikes?
The horrific news of the massacre in Houla, Syria swept the social media sphere last weekend. Over 100 people–including 49 children–were killed, according to the United Nations, with many of the victims shot in their homes. On Facebook and Twitter all content or photos posted regardless of proper sourcing is simply fair game. The BBC, of course, is held to a higher standard.
A false photo of the dead wrapped for burial WAS released on the BBC’s homepage over the weekend. While it was claimed to depict the current victims in the Houla Massacre, it was actually a photo taken back in 2003 of victims killed in Iraq.
The Atlantic’s Max Fisher calls the BBC’s photo error an innocent mistake, considering how the media often rely on citizen journalism in conflict zones. Perhaps he’s more than right; when we step back and look at the serious issue at hand, the media are simply trying to share important news. Shouldn’t the urgency of the matter should trump a simple photo error?
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