Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics


Is it ethical to take a selfie at a tragic site, like Chernobyl or Auschwitz?

Irina Raicu, Director of Internet Ethics, quoted in Deseret News.

“The selfie places you in the forefront,” Raicu said. “It’s more about you, and everything else acts as context or background to you.”

When posing for and posting photos taken at tragic sites, people need to ask themselves “what kind of person are you for doing this, or who are you encouraging someone else to be?” Raicu said. “What kind of virtues are you demonstrating or not demonstrating?”

Ultimately, photos are “subjective,” and our interpretation of them “really depends on how much we understand of the context and the motivation behind them,” Raicu said.

Irina Raicu, Director of Internet Ethics, quoted in Deseret News (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)