In the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Nodar Kumaritashvili, a 21 year old luger from Georgia, was killed in a training run. He lost control of his sled and was ejected from it into a metal support beam. There is obviously footage of this crash seeing as the Olympics is broadcasted worldwide. I had only read news articles and heard by mouth of this horrific accident. However, one of my friends did see it on TV at the time and commented on how graphic it was. This got me to thinking. I was not around for the live crash, but, sure enough, I typed it into Google and found the video immediately. I figured it would only be up on youtube.com, or less prominent websites. I figured the actual footage wouldn’t be shown by the news anymore. But the place that I actually found the video was on CBSnews.com. They not only showed the crash in live time, but also showed still images as the luger was colliding with the metal beam. For some reason I found this unnecessary to even be archiving the video. Anyone could search and view this crash, and I compared it to a family member dying. Say a family member was killed in a car accident, or dying of cancer. I would not want this on the Internet for people to watch over nad over. Does the luger’s mother and father in Georgia even know that this is on the Internet, their son’s death is permanantly reocurring online? I find this to raise a big question of what video documents are okay to be posted online and what aren’t?
I did a little searching on other’s opinions on this question and found this article that discussed the concern of not having guidelines or a “road map” for Internet ethics.
I feel that the graphic material is not an issue, as all the sites warn the viewer it is graphic content, but the fact that this Olympic athlete’s death can be viewed all over the world and is embedded online permanently. In the article, the author brings up the idea that TV chooses what you watch, but the Internet lets you choose. If I didn’t find concern with the video’s posting online, I wouldn’t have even thought to Google it and watch it. I feel the family should be able to decide if they want this video online or not. The issue that arises is, does keeping this video online really give value to a news story, or would the story be just the same if unaccompanied by the graphic footage? Also, should the family have a say in this video’s posting, or does the news have the right to it because the Olympic games are basically a public broadcast to all? All I have to say is, if he was my brother, seeing his death once is far too many times.