I saw Reading trending on Twitter last night and like a lot of other people wanted to check out what was going on. I had switched the TV over to Sky News but nothing was being said. Then the basic statement that emergency services were dealing with a ‘serious incident’. I went back to Twitter to see if there was more detail.

What I still cannot come to accept is that when there is a serious incident, a terrorist attack or a moment when people’s lives are at risk, someone is videoing the events. They don’t go to help. They don’t run away. They just standby, take out the phone and start to record. For me, it is just not acceptable.

My heart goes out to all those who have been affected by the incident last night. The families and friends of those who were killed and injured, those who will be traumatised by what they saw, and the emergency services who raced to help. It is horrific and we all need to support and help those affected.

When I was going through Twitter there was shocking video online and being shared. I moved away from it as quickly as I could. This should not have been circulated and all I could think about were people who might see their loved one in that footage. We have all experienced being given terrible news and know how it affected us, so we can surely all understand how this would be made worse by finding out your loved one was hurt by seeing footage on social media.

There has to be more that social media providers can do to take such video down and do it quickly. What justification can there be for allowing it to remain and continue to be shared?

If social media platforms are not going to take action then it is important that we all do something. We need to make sure we don’t share such videos, and more than that we need to call on others not to share it. We need to call on people’s humanity, and ask them to put themselves in the shoes of the family and loved ones. It has to become unacceptable to both post and share such horrific images.

My thoughts are also with all those who have been affected by terrorism over the years as this will be a difficult day for them as well.

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4 Responses to Unacceptable

  1. Amanda,
    No argument but just a genuine question to which you may not have the answer. Do you have any sense of at what point and on what basis does a ‘flag go up’ with the social platforms?

    One might expect that a pattern of sharing would be picked up by algorithm before it is of a scale to trend but at what point does the content get vetted and is the trigger for more scrutiny based on the acceleration in sharing, the volume of shares or content… and once it is/has been shared in multiples, how far can they reach to ‘pull it back; or is it only in some formats.

    The more the world evolves, the greater the call for individual and personal responsibility.


    • amandacomms1 says:

      Thanks Padraig. I am not aware of how social media platforms monitor. But as we get more and more sophisticated there has to be a way of doing this. And as you say also have personal responsibility


  2. Jim says:

    No one was complaining when people were sharing George Floyd’s death. What’s different this time?


    • amandacomms1 says:

      Hi Jim, For me it is the same. Such footage has a significant impact on people. Firstly, families whose loved ones are caught up in it. Secondly, others who have experienced such horrific incidents in the past. The issue for me with this situation was the speed of release almost immediately. Over the years people are becoming more used to seeing images of the point of death which I find unacceptable. I hope that helps to explain. Best wishes


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