Profiteering Off Misery

homelessness

A growing trend

You might have noticed a growing trend of people roaming the streets with cameras, capturing the harsh realities of homelessness and drug addiction that plague our country. They post their videos online, often with a subscribe button or a donation link, hoping to cash in on the misery and suffering of others. But do they really care about the people they are filming? Do they respect their privacy and dignity? Do they have any right to exploit their pain for profit? I don’t think so.

As a former addict and homeless person, myself, I know how it feels to be exposed and vulnerable in front of strangers. I know how it hurts to be judged and ridiculed for your mistakes and circumstances. I know how it stings to be treated like a spectacle or a curiosity. I didn’t want anyone to see me like that, let alone broadcast it to the world.

That’s why I find these profiteers of despair so disgusting and unethical. They are not documenting the problem to raise awareness or find solutions. They are not helping or empowering the people they are filming. They are not showing empathy or compassion. They are just using them as props and pawns for their own selfish gain. They are violating their human rights and dignity. They are making a mockery of their struggles and challenges. They are adding insult to injury.

What should be done?

So, what should be done about this? Should we ban or regulate these kinds of videos? Should we require consent from the subjects before filming them? Should we share the revenue with them if the videos are monetized? I think these are valid questions that need to be addressed. But more importantly, I think we need to change our attitude and perspective towards homelessness and drug addiction. We need to see them as people, not as problems. We need to listen to them, not to judge them. We need to support them, not to exploit them. We need to show them some respect and kindness, not some pity and scorn.

I have a confession to make, I prefer watching videos of people in trouble than videos of sunlight and flowers. Whether it’s a car crash, a robbery, or a fight, I can’t help but click on those thumbnails and watch the drama unfold. I know I’m not alone in this. There’s something fascinating about seeing the dark side of human nature, the chaos and the violence that lurks beneath the surface of our uncivilized society.

But I also have a question to ask: what about the people in those videos? The ones who are suffering, who are hurt, who are scared? Do they get anything out of this? Do they even know that their misfortune is being broadcast to millions of viewers online? And what about the ones who record and upload these videos? The ones who profit from the pain of others. Do they have any responsibility towards the people they exploit?

I think they do. I think that if someone makes money from filming other people’s misery, they owe them something. They owe them respect, compassion, and assistance. They owe them a share of their earnings, a gesture of gratitude, and a chance to improve their situation. They owe them more than just a click and a view.

A simple rule

That’s why I propose a simple rule for anyone who makes or watches these kinds of videos: give back to the people you film. If you record someone’s accident, help them out afterwards. If you witness someone’s crime, report it to the authorities. And if you profit from someone’s hardship, donate some of your money to them or to a charity that supports them. It’s only fair, right?

I know this might sound idealistic or unrealistic, but I believe it’s possible. I believe that we can enjoy these videos without being heartless or selfish. I believe that we can balance our curiosity with our empathy. And I believe that we can make a difference in the lives of the people we watch.

So next time you see a video of someone in trouble, don’t just watch and move on. Think about the person behind the screen. Think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes. And think about how you can help them out. Because they are not just actors in your entertainment. They are human beings who deserve your respect and kindness.

 

Note: Bing AI compose assist

author avatar
herberth4
Retired computer tech. Bachelor degree in Computer Information Systems, Jones College, Jacksonville, Florida