The new cyber bully: Help the vulnerable but protect their digital footprint

The recent cyber bully in todays world is helping the vulnerable and not protecting their digital footprint. Kindness is a long-held secret that does not require evidence. You often don’t have to be concerned about leaving tracks while traveling the beach. Your actual footprints are usually insignificant and vanish over time with the movement of the wind, water, and people walking around. However, your digital footprint is a distinct phenomenon: Your digital footprint can be difficult to remove from the internet and is highly revealing.

A person’s recording and, thus, traceable online or a device’s activities are referred to as their “digital footprint.” A digital footprint is, in a word, your Internet data trail.

Dzifah Tamakloe
Without taking into consideration the risks involved, a lot of people fill social media with pictures of needy people they frequently assist or may have assisted. It is not ethically wrong or illegal in any other manner to take images of vulnerable people. However, it is not the best idea to upload photos without blurring their faces or preserving their anonymity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting our best moments: us serving the less fortunate, us feeding those in need, hugging a child, and so forth. These photos can be compelling, but what is our motivation? Is our post only about us? Or are we encouraging others or promoting others? Always ask permission when taking pictures and talk to the people… Is it okay if I post this? Most importantly, ensure the pictures are respectful.

Respect for human vulnerability and personal integrity is mandated by Article 8 of the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, especially for those particularly vulnerable. While neither term is defined explicitly, most people intuitively understand what they mean.

In the opinion of many philanthropists and non-governmental organizations, the pictures of these vulnerable individuals prove to their donors how their donations are utilized. However, photographs of donated items are enough for the public eye, while sensitive ones are kept for documentation purposes.

Let’s not sacrifice the dignity of persons being photographed to satisfy our ever-increasing craving for public applause. It is never too late to right the old wrong.

Dzifah Tamakloe

I once read somewhere that a well-to-do man gave food to the poor on his way to and from work without asking them to pose for the camera. However, words of his good deeds swiftly spread, and he gained the respect of many. The affluent man was asked why he won’t take pictures of the people he helped, and his response sent chills down one’s spine: How would it be if nature decided to reverse the roles of the giver and the receiver? Would these givers still want to look into the camera?

Dzifah Tamakloe

4 Comments

  1. Yes we can!

    When help is genuine, it does not require publication unless that is meant to attract additional help

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