The Point

The Point: A Society of Spectators

Facebook reports that at least 200 people watched a live stream of the Christchurch mosque attack. The entire time, not one contacted Facebook or the authorities. Twelve minutes after the attack, finally someone notified Facebook. There have been over 1.5 million attempts to re-upload the horrific video since it was taken down. And just days ago, a man was arrested after repeatedly kicking a 78-year-old woman on the New York subway. Bystanders reportedly stood there and took videos of the attack on their phones. Have we really become such a society of voyeurs that can’t be bothered to help or to even report a crime in progress? At the root of this is more than being a people entertained by violence. It’s our illusion of some kind of moral separation between us and the people on the other sides of our screens—even if those people are literally standing in front of us! Indifference like this must stop. If we’re to reactivate our conscience, we may need to deactivate our devices.


John Stonestreet


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