The trauma of tragedy brought on by SNS

Last Saturday, there was a big tragedy in Itaewon, Korea. Itaewon is a famous street in Korea, and Halloween is one of the biggest events in Itaewon every year. On Saturday, more than 100,000 people gathered for Halloween, and the accident occurred as too many people flocked to the narrow alleyway. At least 150 people have died and more than 80 people have been injured. Most of the dead are in their 20s, and since many people died at a young age, Korea is now in great sadness. As a result, Korea declared a national mourning period until fifth of November, and most festivals and programs are canceled or postponed.

In this situation, the problem was that at the time of the accident, many people took pictures of the incident and posted them on SNS such as Twitter. I don’t recommend watching it, but if you search for “itaewon” on Twitter, there are a lot of videos and photos and most of the videos are shared without a mosaic. The face of a woman being carried by an ambulance is visible and even a photo of the dead bodies is posted. Moreover, the incident is even consumed as a spectacle, and the victims are ridiculed by comments on the video. As time goes by, a lot of videos disappeared, but at that time, videos that were not filtered were circulating throughout SNS. I was also shocked and tearful when I saw the video on the scene.

how videos and pics are posted / C. Moneytoday

If you encounter photos and videos of the incident through SNS, you can get traumatized even if you do not directly experience the incident. If you continue to watch news other than SNS, you can feel severe depression and get a psychological shock. The Korean Neuropsychiatric Association said that the spread of videos and photos at the time of the incident without filtration should be stopped and urged that such actions could undermine the reputation of the deceased and victims and lead to secondary and tertiary damage. It also said that it can cause psychological trauma to many people. Experts said that even if it is not directly related to the incident, the media will be as affected as witnesses. They remind us to keep distance from media and have some rest.

The biggest advantage of SNS is that it can share vivid experiences in real time, but is it fine to share the site through SNS even in this tragic situation? Of course, it is also important to inform the situation at the scene, but I think it should be avoided to spread the scene indiscriminately and without filtration because protecting the victims of the incident and preventing psychological trauma from third parties should be a priority. In addition, as SNS is a personal space, guidelines and media ethics that were absent must be clearly established, and it is necessary to have a sense of responsibility for the posts you upload. If you were shocked or experienced trauma through SNS, it would be good to talk about it together.

Reference

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-63443044

Korean news; https://news.mt.co.kr/mtview.php?no=2022103010265663568