There was a discussion on twitter on the viral #amalayer video. What lessons can be learned here? Citizen journalism is about being responsible. @cyberdean07 suggests “to act with justice, give everyone their due, observe honesty and good faith . Uploading may not comply with the requirement of acting with justice.” Let me share this useful advice via takebackthetech.net when confronted with a message, video or image that may lead to potential violence or humiliation.
There are many ways to bear witness. Seeing is a political act. When you see, you affect what is being seen, and it affects you. What we bring into the act of witnessing is the politics that we bring into situation.
How do you witness violence against women? Do you witness it as a spectator, interested only to be shocked, bored or entertained? Or do you witness it as a person engaged in creating a more just and equal world that is free from violence against women?
This is the key difference between documenting violence and forwarding violence. How we locate ourselves in the act of violence, and question our role in perpetuating or ending such violence. And the action we take after we witness.
Today we are repeating the call for you to take a stand, and make a commitment to stop the spread of images and content that continues to perpetuate violence.
In many countries the filming and distribution of images such as these is a criminal offence. It must be – those who are filming are not doing anything to prevent the violence. As ‘spectators’ they are implicated in the assault themselves. But what of those who receive and forward the images and videos, what is their role in the continuation and replication of the violence committed? How are they implicated in the violence? What does the sharing of this material mean for the victim who has to live with the knowledge that her violation and trauma, is being distributed, replicated and viewed by others?
How many times have you received forwarded message that contains photographs or a video of someone being violated or humiliated? What do you do with it? Do you reflect on your role and power to stop the violence? If you pass it on, will it perpetuate the harm? Can you stop its spread by pressing delete?
Many people think that it is ok to forward material like this. They argue that the damage is already done and that they are merely doing what everyone else has done already by sharing it. But every act of passing it on, and forwarding the message, is another act of violence.
You have the power to stop the spread. Take a stand. Don’t forward.