If watching the videos upsets you that much, imagine what it was like to experience it.
Caleb Downs

I think there are plenty of ways to be deeply engaged with the news — and even feel some degree of empathy with victims of senseless crimes — without physically bearing witness to their suffering. It’s a fine line, though.

I don’t want to be willfully ignorant of the very real pain happening in the world. But I also don’t want my world (and, more to the point, my newsfeed) to be consumed with horrific images — especially when I’m not emotionally ready to receive them. It causes news fatigue, disinterest, and maybe for some people, inspiration to commit copycat crimes. As one of my FB friends wrote, I’d rather my feed be filled with news of the officer’s arrest and the steps required to achieve justice.

The other danger with the proliferation of these videos is that it could dull interest towards the more boring, but perhaps more pervasive, roots of injustice. We focus on the sensational stuff that can be shared on Facebook, and thereby pay less attention to boring stuff like home ownership regulations, textbook quality, and access to mental health counseling.

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