In eager anticipation of Team Mack’s discussion on privacy Tuesday, I was wondering what you ethics gurus have to say regarding these very public photos of Vancouver Olympic protesters.
In view of multiple arrests and possible legal consequences for the wayward idealists, these photos might be used for judicial good. For instance, perhaps Vancouver detectives identify and track down more individuals who took part in the vandalization? Perchance, even better, these overdue punishments lead to further preventive breakthroughs vis-a-vis future anarchic demonstrations.
But maybe (gulp), these photos unfairly implicate innocent bystanders as well. And associate some disassociated folks to these events who desire no such, uh, association.
These photos have been picked up by at least one prominent blog, thereby broadening viewership of the original spectacle. So where does the responsibility of the photographer lay:
- To do his/her best to catch violators, hence acting as both citizen-journalist AND citizen-cop?
- To respect the privacy of all stakeholders in the incident, including protester and witness?
- None of the above: There should be no expectation of responsibility!
A mon avis, I think the photographer ought to exercise due caution when publishing (uploading?) these images. A photo is beneficial when it only portrays a blacked-out whacko smashing a department store window … but what if an image also captures an unmasked spectator … or peaceful co-demonstrator … or whatever they are? We don’t know.
And methinks that’s not so fair to them.