The USS Quad Damage

Photos of the dead

Make sure you've got a good photo of yourself on facebook. It may turn up in a newspaper if you ever die.

MediaWatch has mentioned how facebook is increasingly being used by the media to show pictures of people who (mostly) have died for some reason. Due to the fact that a lot of profiles are open to the web, a ton of photos for random people can be searched on facebook. Even if people protect their photos, the often join very diverse groups like “Australia”, which then gives pretty much anyone else in the group access to (at least some) of their details. The implications of putting data on facebook is clearly not getting through to people, and by the same token, neither is internet decency getting through to journalists. Due to facebook’s er... interesting... copyright rules for uploading photos, a newspaper is often free to publish these photos without any consent.

What results is... well... if you die, it’s likely that a photo you uploaded to facebook will be printed as front-page news. I’m not used to seeing traditional media. It’ll become irrelevant soon enough, but managed to see a newspaper lying around today. One of the two pictures of Australian women who died in the Samoan Tsunami seemed a little... pixelated. I looked at the fine print, and sure enough, the source was listed as “facebook”.

Rather an ominous source...