I am safe after yesterday’s sad events – which are a tragedy for those who have lost loved ones, or who may have life changing injuries.
It’s understandable that people feel the need to check on people close to them who may have been in the area – and to provide that ‘just in case’ reassurance. Once the thought comes to mind, it’s hard to do anything else.
Four or five people are killed in the UK – on any average day – in road accidents. In terms of being killed purely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, what’s happened in Westminster is hardly a blip. There are other areas we should be focusing on to reduce the number of lives tragically cut short. Where I’m currently living, 7.5% of deaths are due to air pollution. The lives lost due to mental illness, or austerity – whether indirectly or directly – are probably higher; but it’d be hard to estimate. And the equivalent of at least one Londoner a day is killed by climate change – already – although its victims are disproportionately in poorer nations.
It is only too human to get things out of proportion: one death is a tragedy, a thousand are a statistic; and the values of the news cycle exacerbate that.
What is not forgivable is Facebook – which profits from advertising on extremist content of all sorts – deliberately fueling that with its ‘mark your self safe’ tool (in the case at least, basically a gimmick).
It is using that to cement its own indispensability as a money-making communication platform: effectively forcing people to mark themselves safe. Profiting from the worst kind of heart wrenching event.