Recently, All Black Sonny Bill Williams, who is a UNICEF ambassador, has been criticised for sharing images of dead children on Twitter.
Williams, who recently visited refugees in Lebanon with the organisation, tweeted the images in an attempt to raise awareness of the Syrian crisis, asking, “What did these children do to deserve this?”
The reaction has been split between people who support his actions saying it highlights what is happening (especially with the air strikes over the region), and those who criticised him, saying it was too much.
@SonnyBWilliams Although I sympathise w ur reasons for posting this, it’s not wise. It can be a trigger for some pple. Also young followers.
— C_NZ_ (@C_NZ_) December 29, 2015
@SonnyBWilliams thank you for your honest words & brave photos. I’m personally glad I saw the reality of this.
— Soraya Lane (@Soraya_Lane) December 29, 2015
Unicef have criticised the tweet, telling the NZ Herald,”We see it as a fundamental infringement of those children’s rights. But at the same time, we don’t have the capacity to sensor or edit private citizens’ showing what they find on their individual explorations online.”
The original tweet can be seen here (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT).
Personally, I don’t think Williams has anything to appolgise for apart from not giving a warning as to what the images were beforehand. While he does have young fans following his social media accounts (one of the reasons for the criticism), these images, and others like them, can be found elsewhere online. While no one wants to see an image of a dead body (especially one of a child), we should not shy away from facts even if the truth makes us feel uncomfortable.
If @SonnyBWilliams tweet made you feel uncomfortable and talk about Syria’s most vulnerable, then good, that was the point. Well done SBW.
— Mike McRoberts (@MrMikeMcRoberts) December 29, 2015
Do you think Williams should have shared the images? Let us know in the comments below!