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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Guardian’s Decision to Publish Shocking Photos of Aylan Kurdi Viral on Social Media

The social media debate on the use of the images by the Guardian on the upsetting tragedy of the Kurdi family (three-year-old Aylan, the Syrian boy in the pictures, his five-year-old brother, Galip, and their mother, Rehan, all drowned) appeared in danger of being lost. A few hours after the image was uploaded,it went viral and become the top-trending picture on Twitter with the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (humanity washed ashore) and all over Social Media (Facebook/Tumblr).

Facebook post found in previous Today in Manila article:
The outcome was that the pictures were published on the website early in the afternoon. “We didn’t rush to publish,” explains Paul Johnson, the deputy editor for The Guardian. “We verified the photographs and waited for a full story before publication. The enormous poignancy and potential power of the photographs was evident from the start. Could they be the images that provided a tipping point? Would public sympathy, and perhaps anger at Britain’s role as an apparent bystander in this saga, be moved by them? We decided that both of these were highly likely. Those factors had to be balanced again the real shock that some readers would feel.”

Johnson adds: “Importantly, we put a warning on the top of the web file and contextualised the photographs with the story from David Cameron saying the UK could not accommodate people fleeing from war zones. Some Guardian readers of both web and paper were upset – but the vast majority were supportive. This was not a moment for self-censoring.”

The images came out on the day when David Cameron refused to accept any more Syrian refugees in Britain, The Guardian had published the photos hoping to knock into the hearts of everyone around the world regarding the tragedy.

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Read the full story here: The Guardian

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