Killer Whale Video or Virus?

I was reading the news regarding the recent death of Dawn Brancheau, the killer-whale trainer from Orlando and came across an interesting article discussing the live footage of the attack that is going to be released online.  Regardless of the fact that just seems completely heartless and inappropriate (similar to the Steve Irwin sting ray attack video that was banned from being shared) it also shed light on the door it opens to online virus attacks. 

 The article shed light on the increased interest in finding that footage and how it opens the door to online hackers who use this opportunity to spread viruses through videos that are actively being downloaded and searched for.  

I have a few questions regarding this.. first of all, do you think that it is right to post the video online?  What good is coming out of that or what do you think is the purpose of doing that, besides public interest.  Do you think that the amount of harm such footage could cause to her family and friends outweighs any reason to post it on there?  And to play the other side, do you think that the public has the right to see it to make them aware of the harm this animal can cause? (because the name KILLER whale is indicating enough)

And as far as the viruses that this enables people to be vulnerable to do you think there are any other ways of helping secure people’s computer safety other than the tips this article lists.  And as an online user do you think people exposed to the virus have the duty to inform other users to help prevent future harm?

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5 thoughts on “Killer Whale Video or Virus?

  1. I agree that this video has no purpose for being released. We all know the imminent danger of dealing with animals such as these. The video gives no information that will be curcial for the public’s safety, in fact the general public knows if they are near these animals there is a risk of severe harm and even death. Therefore, I don’t see the relevance or neccesity for this video’s release to the public.

  2. Posting this video online is unethical and violates the privacy of the deceased. How would you feel if this were someone in your family and now the entire world could watch it as if it were a new movie release? It is ridiculous to suggest that such a video would be used to teach people the danger’s of killer whales. If someone was really interested in such a topic I would suggest that they go rent Jaws. I’m not sure why our society is obsessed with watching normal people die in the most obscene ways, it’s quite disturbing. All videos that show one being killed or attacked in a public space should be banned online or anywhere else. This type of media coverage is unethical and violates several privacy rights.

  3. You bring up a very important topic that I think needs to be addressed in the world of journalism. I posted a little while back a similar story about the footage released of the Olympic luger at his time of death. I said then, and I say it again now, it is completely inappropriate to televise anyone’s moment of death for any reason. I find no grounds to do this other than to satisfy the public’s curiosity and to boost a stations ratings and neither of these reasons provide a valid excuse. It would be interesting to see if any of the reporters broadcasting these deaths would want this televised if they were the family members that had to deal with the public dissemination of their loved one’s death. Would they be too happy about it? I doubt it.

    While reading your post, I remembered a story that I think takes this idea of unethical journalism (or rather, photo journalism) to another level. In October of 2008, a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding his bike at night when a police cruiser, going 69 mph, struck him. Later on in the evening news, footage, given to the news station by the police themselves, surfaced of the boy being struck and run over. Not only is it extremely disturbing to see the incident, but it takes it to another level when you actually hear it. And to add insult to injury, the parents of the boy didn’t know there was a video of their son’s death until they turned on the news and watched it themselves. There is no benefit in locally televising this. I understand the reporter’s opportunity for a story since the boy was killed by a police officer and that warrants public interest; however, the video has no significance. The dignity of human life is sacrificed and this is wrong. What rationale do reporters come up with to justify this kind of publication? From a legal standpoint, does the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics (SPJ) allow reporters to do this?

    Journalists need to step back and understand what they are doing when reporting on sensitive situations like these. If they wouldn’t want it done to themselves, then they shouldn’t do it to others. It’s the Golden Rule!

  4. I feel that the families rights far out weigh any right of public interest. Yes when you read about something like this one’s first inclination might be to somehow see the video but that does not make it right to show it. The argument that the public should see it because it could potential save them from harm is true but lets be honest, Everyone knows the danger that comes from wild animals in general. The only people that will be in an arena with a wild or some what tamed animal is a professional. I feel the argument of keeping the public safe is bogus because of this. When in nature things happen and their called accidents. The only way to prevent an accident is to stay out of that situation.

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