I was shocked to say the least when I was alerted to the fact that major news outlets are live streaming the military operation by the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, back from ISIS.
Both Al Jazeera English and Channel Four both have live feeds on Facebook where anyone with access to a computer can watch the war unfold. This is incredibly disturbing – what are the ethical and moral issues of watching the consequences of war live in our social media streams?
Like most Facebook feeds, viewers are able to like, share and comment on the proceedings. The Al Jazeera feed had over 13,000 comments when I took the screen grab below.
The Channel 4 coverage had a live press conference being translated into English
Photojournalism and more recently user generated content have been accused of desensitising the public to the graphic images of war. We have become accustomed to ‘live news’ from the likes of the BBC, Guardian etc, where the viewer receives curated and edited content in near to real time, but what are the ramifications of live, uncensored media coverage?