Privacy and consent in media for grieving families. Stop rubberneck-bait.

Privacy and consent in media for grieving families. Stop rubberneck-bait.

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Rubberneck-bait

- the nonconsensual exploitation of grief for clicks.

I drew attention to just one horrific story. Of a family in a living nightmare of losing their child tragically. A nightmare exacerbated by media harassment and exploitation. But then other stories just like it came rolling in.

There was a pattern to these stories, a pattern I’ve termed Rubberneckbait. - Nonconsensual exploitation of grief for clicks.

The media vultures act as follows:

they publish the incident, without consent.
they hound grieving family for images, details and statements, sometimes entering their house, the funeral, their congregations, without consent.
they use real names and photos of victims, without consent.
they use facebook updates, givealittle pages, and congregational announcements as direct quotes , without consent.
they publish coroner’s findings, without consent.

For one second, just imagine being in this situation. Not being able to even inform family in person before names and details are spread online. Having media consistently harassing you and your family at your most vulnerable.

Having your worst nightmare spread online in detail with your lost loved one’s face and name out for everyone to see.

Misinformation, due to how trigger happy they are to just publish.

And then a followup story of the coroner’s report to relive your nightmare and all the while, your horrors now live online for your young kids to be able to read as they grow up, along with the judgmental comments below.

And in many cases, these stories are of the tragic loss of children. One story shared was how the media turned up at the sane time as the ambulance, where they got photos of their son - still lying in the driveway, without consent.

This is sickening to me. I actually cannot deal with this lack of humanity, but to see the evidence of it across so many stories shows there is a mandate. A strategic remit to listen in to emergency services and publish anything for clicks.

As a consumer completely guilty of clicking on rubberneckbait, I know the impulse. The way the mind tries to comprehend the unfathomable is to keep looking and imagine my own loved ones in their place, but I never would ever want to consume that information if I knew it was creating further grief.

If I knew it was WITHOUT CONSENT.

The c-word. A word we try to build high esteem for in society, yet here we are.

We need privacy and consent in the media for grieving families. 

 

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DEFINITIONS

Rubbernecking
The human trait that’s drawn by morbid curiosity and refers to the action of moving your neck further than it should just to get a better view of something you shouldn’t look at.

Clickbait

Refers to content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page to generate traffic for ad revenue.