Why Retweeting Photos Of UK Parliament Victims Is Not OK

Jack Taylor/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Wednesday, an attack being treated as terrorism by police occurred near the Palace of Westminster and near Westminster Bridge. Based on several reports, a policeman was stabbed and the person who was allegedly responsible for the stabbing has been shot by London police. There are also reports that a car crashed into a fence surrounding Westminster Bridge and hit pedestrians in the process. Exact details on what occurred are still coming in, but in the meantime here's a reminder as to why retweeting photos of the U.K. Parliament victims is not OK.

This really should be a given and common sense. First and foremost, the victims' families may not have been notified yet. The situation is ongoing and quite chaotic. Their families deserve to hear from officials about their loved ones, their status, and what exactly happened before finding out online or through a picture that was shared on social media. No one should find out someone they cared about was injured or possibly even died by seeing it on Twitter.

Of course, families probably want to learn anyway that they can if their loved one is safe and social media is a way to do that. However, allow them to search and find out in their own way and on their own terms. Really, it's all about being sensitive to a horrific incident.

As reported by the U.K. Press Association (via the Associated Press), a doctor said one woman has been killed and other individuals have "catastrophic" injuries from the Westminster Bridge incident. Based on that, you can see that this is a very serious situation with reported casualties. It should not be taken lightly.

Furthermore, there could be false images out there. There is no need to retweet pictures of victims that may not even be from the right incident. That would add to an already chaotic event.

Also, think of the victims themselves. Do you think they'd want their photo retweeted? They just experienced something that will most likely haunt them and their loved ones for a long time. They and their families certainly don't need to see a photo of themselves online. By sharing a photo, it's like you're also speaking for the victim in a way and assuming they'd want their picture tweeted. You don't know what they would want. If they consent to it or decide to share a photo themselves, then that's OK. If not, refrain at all costs.

Please allow all of the proper notifications and details to be sorted out, before taking to the internet and sharing what may or may not be disturbing images. Again, the victims don't deserve to have their photos plastered all over the internet. This is a sensitive situation that should be handled with respect.