Fireworks at a football match [es] in Bolivia turned deadly after a flare hit and killed a 14-year-old boy. To cover the tragedy, media outlets used an image from the boy's Facebook page, sparking a debate on whether it is ethical, or even legal, to use photographs of minors from social networks.
The boy was supporting San Jose, a football club from Oruro city in Bolivia on February 20, 2013. San Jose was playing against Corinthians, a popular Brazilian squad and the defending champion of the 2012 Copa Libertadores, the most important football tournament for clubs in Latin America.
Five minutes after the kick-off Corinthians scored a goal. Although banned in football stadiums, some fans responded with celebratory fireworks, and a flare ended up hitting the 14 year-old Bolivian fan. Local media reported [es] that the boy received medical aid, but died of his injuries on the way to the hospital.
National and international media started to follow the events closely after several Corinthians’ fans were arrested; a few remain in police custody and could be prosecuted.
Netizen Mario Duran (@mrduranch) [es] pointed out that local media used the victim's Facebook profile image to cover the tragedy. Duran inquired on Twitter whether such publication is ethical, moral, or even legal:
Netizens, and particularly journalists, reacted with different points of view. Mario Duran published a few responses on his blog Palabras Libres [es].
Fabiola Chambi (@fabiolachambi) [es], a journalist who is very active online, immediately reacted to Mario's question:
Ruben Atahuichi (@RDAtahuichiL) [es], an editor at one of the largest national newspapers said:
Addressing the question from a legal angle, Mario Duran later commented:
Mauricio Quiroz (@MichoQuiroz) [es], another journalist, considers the issue from a different point of view:
Cesar Galindo (@CesarGalindQNMP), a well known journalist and TV presenter, also joined the debate saying: