Thursday, October 31, 2013

too much

While I'm not squeamish about all the fake blood and guts that are being used to mark Halloween festivities, the same cannot be said for the real thing.  A friend who felt the need to send graphic images of the Boston bombings found out exactly what I think constitutes gratuitous gore and violence in media.

It's a slippery slope to be sure.  Graphic depictions have changed how a lot of people view fighting and war.  Sometimes we need to be shocked into realizing how bad something really is.  On the other hand, splashing private and agonizing moments of peoples' lives in full color can be insensitive and needless.

I may have been living under a rock, but I was unaware of the Facebook controversy regarding a beheading video.  The first I heard about it was last week when my news reader highlighted a story about Facebook's policy stating that the beheading video was allowed because of its newsworthiness.  I clicked on the story, thinking it had something to do with terrorists, and instead was treated to still shots of a woman who had been beheaded by her husband for supposedly cheating on him.  I almost threw up.  I had to lay down because I could feel the physiological signs that I was about to faint: palpitations, lightheadedness, sudden drop in blood pressure and full on distress.  If you want to publish those horrible images and feel like there is some sort of newsworthiness, then fine, but like R rated movies, there should be a warning on the web site for people like myself who wanted to know what is being debated without a full graphic representation of the offensive material.

Now a popular HK blog has posted a beheading image where I did not expect to see one. I don't care if the images are from last week or from 1891; I don't want to see it.  If you had given me the choice to click for the image or at least scroll down, I could have had the choice to not look.  I'm disappointed but I'll have to remove another news source from my list because I can't be passing out on my way to work in public transportation. I may fall and crack my head open and then I would be the one sickening people on a news site.

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