Engagement Vultures

Twitter is a wonderful thing. Especially for following sport.

Long gone are the days when you had to rely on teletext for updated scores/results. The second-by-second nature of following sport on Twitter is, for the most part, exemplary. You always feel in the loop. You never miss a thing. But therein lies the problem.

Some aspects of sport, in particular motor racing, need to be assessed before sharing with the masses. Case in point: Sebastien Bourdais’ crash at Indianapolis.

As I’m sure you already know, Bourdais had a big accident at Indy during qualifying. Of course, if you were watching live you will have seen the full extent of the accident. It wasn’t nice. However, before Bourdais’ car had even grinded to a halt, images and videos were swarming all over people’s Twitter timelines.

Now people can try and justify their reasons for sharing the images, but we all know it’s for one reason and one reason only – attention. Like vultures people scramble to be the first to share images of accidents (Bourdais’ is just an example, it happens all the time) so they can soak up all the likes and retweets. I don’t care what caption you put with the image, you can’t disguise the fact that you’re sharing that image simply to cash in on some cheap engagement. It sickens me.

“Yeah, but he was conscious and moving.” Tell that to his friends and family. If your brother/sister/mother/father/partner or friend had a devastating road accident and they were ‘conscious and moving’ would you let random people take photos of the wreckage to post on Twitter? I don’t think so.

There’s a reason reputable journalists and publications won’t post such images in the aftermath of an accident. It’s called respect. The words said journalists write can paint just as vivid an image for you to imagine what happened, you don’t need to go hunting for the grizzly photographic evidence immediately.

Nothing will ever change though. Because Twitter is accessible to everyone (sorry China) this will continue to happen indefinitely. However, if you’re reading this and you have a tendency to share images and videos of crashes just for a couple of likes and a few new followers, give your head a shake and think again. The person in that cockpit is just that – a person. Yes, they may appear superhuman, but in that situation they’re no different from someone who is lying unconscious in the wreckage of their car on the A1 waiting for an ambulance.

Long story short… don’t be a douchebag.

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