Monday, 14 April 2008

If the Facebook fits...

I was working with some French journalists today, and happened to show them the front page of The Telegraph with the pictures, lifted in part from their Facebook pages, of some of the gap-year victims of the bus crash in Ecuador.

They were appalled. "In France," they said, "we could never publish this."

I'd actually been intending to show them something entirely unrelated, so was caught off guard. Of course, I gave the standard British defence of using such pictures. But afterwards, I did wonder.

I wondered in part whether we can justify using images that the photographers and subjects intended to be shared purely among friends. Yes, I know all the arguments we can use to explain why we should, I'm just not sure I believe them any more. And I wonder how many of our readers believe them.

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