Rough Sleeping Censorship on Wrexham Town Matters Group

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  • #148552

    bubble
    Participant

    I was hoping that the motivation behind it was that it’s seen as unethical to post photos of homeless people without their knowledge or permission,

    Its actually not illegal to photograph anyone in public space with or without their consent.

    Janey

    No, it’s not illegal to photograph them. But it is unethical and could be illegal to publish their photographs without their prior permission.

    I was thinking that people might be accused of taking photos of ‘vulnerable’ people. e.g. if you took a photo of someone in zombie ‘mode’, they clearly wouldn’t in that moment be in a position to make an informed choice about whether their photo could be shared on social media or not.

    #148581

    Andy
    Participant

    You don’t need anyone’s permission to publish a photograph of them in a public place.

    #148589

    bubble
    Participant

    You don’t need anyone’s permission to publish a photograph of them in a public place.

    Yes, I think we’re all agreed on that, Andy. My initial point was that I had hoped the reason people were being asked not to post photos of homeless in Wrexham was out of some noble sentiment, out of concern for what some might view as ‘vulnerable’ people, rather than the more self-serving motivation of not wanting people to see how grim Wrexham town actually is.

    What’s legal and what’s appropriate according to social norms are not always the same thing. I personally have no problem with photos of the ‘homeless’ (or as I prefer to think of them, drug addicts & alcoholics) in Wrexham being shared. However, if an elderly person collapsed in Wrexham, I would think it inappropriate to take & share photos of them lying on the ground and even more so if they were identifiable from the photos.

    #148618

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Bubble you have assumed all homeless people are either drug addicts or alcoholics- this is not the case as many people have become homeless through social or employment reasons and don’t get tempted by substances.
    The test of an appropriate photo would be if you were in the personal circumstances would you want to be photographed?
    As stated earlier the taking of a photo in the street is not illegal and there use to illustrate an article or news items – what cannot be done however is the selling of an image for commercial/financial gain as this strays into other areas of legal risk.

    #148620

    bubble
    Participant

    Bubble you have assumed all homeless people are either drug addicts or alcoholics- this is not the case as many people have become homeless through social or employment reasons and don’t get tempted by substances.

    I am aware that there is a difference, actually, but I also have no doubt that when it comes to describing those on the streets with substance abuse issues, the terms ‘homeless’ and ‘rough sleeping’ are used by some deliberately because they are more sympathetic descriptions. Many of these people are homeless as a consequence of their addictions and if we are to use labels then I would prefer for them to more honestly reflect the issue rather than one of its symptoms. Otherwise it confuses issues and effectively encourages terms such as ‘homelessness’ to become almost synonymous with terms like ‘addiction’.

    Wrexham has a substance abuse problem. As well as being able to share photos that give an honest representation of the town’s ‘rough sleeping’ problems, surely we should also be honest about what the main cause of the problem is.

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