Images on the Internet
I passively follow on Twittter, but it seems to me that Vinay Gupta tweets in storms. When he does, I tune in because he very often asks important questions. Today, which the above tweet was a part, he was exploring the question:
Suppose you had a rule: never buy anything that wasn’t made by people you would trade places with in a pinch. Suppose we all did that?
The tweet I singled out, he marked with the hash tag #Soon, but what he’s talking about seems very much #Now to me. And if I, some old white dude in America, is seeing, I know lot of other people are. I know it because sometimes people talk about it.
One of the things that makes this different from “poverty porn” is the images showing up on social media streams now are not really anonymous. They show up as a result of social networks. Even if the images and messages of suffering are from “friends of friends” we’re aware nowadays of being part of a network with those who are suffering.
Gupta’s question would you trade places packs a punch because these other places really aren’t so remote from us.
What do we do when we know the names of the starving mother and child we see on the Internet?