Conflict & Justice

Gaddafi sodomized video: Readers respond


A screen grab from Al Jazeera of a video said to show Muammar Gaddafi's body. Gaddafi is dead after being wounded during his capture in Sirte, Libya, on October 20, 2011, according to unconfirmed reports.

GlobalPost's decision to run a dispatch from Libya correspondent Tracey Shelton this morning with a video showing a rebel fighter sodomizing former Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi with a stick or a knife has sparked a debate amongst some readers about whether the video should have been published.

The editors here believe the video to be newsworthy and a key part of the story on Gaddafi's capture, abuse and killing. 

But we're curious about your thoughts, too. We posted a question on Facebook and Twitter asking, "Do you think we should have run the video?"  (Here is the link to the graphic video.) 

Below are some of the comments GlobalPost followers on Facebook and Twitter sent back to us.

More: Gaddafi's captors speak out

On Twitter, there was an interesting turn when some commented on the use of the hashtag #gaddafisodomized, which was used to collect responses for this story, instead on the newsworthiness of the video. 

[View the story "Should we have run the video?" on Storify]

Many readers left their comments on Facebook, too.

Johanna Luciow wrote:

You have the option not to view it. It shows that this. Actually happened if no video had been posted it would have just been shrugged off as an allegation. These are people in a very different place and this man caused alot in their eyes. We may view it as disgusting but they wanted the revenge they could get for the troubles he caused them.

Debbie Stevens wrote:

No human being, no matter how despicable, deserves what that depicted. Disgusting that you showed it.

LaRose Smith wrote:

No, i dont think that this should have even been allowed to be seen, its distasteful, disgusting, and disrespectful!!!!!

Ria San Giorgio wrote:

Although it is our choice, as responsible adults, to watch it or not, you never know what sicko's could get other ideas from watching it or some kid watches it and gets traumatized.

Yasser Helmy wrote:

I think you have a duty to report the news as you see it and give due warnings as to the nature of the pictures and videos. It is up to individuals to choose whether or not they would like to see them and be subjected to this type of material.

Nicole Look wrote:

I think the topic may be news, the video is not. It is just awful and unnecessary to show.

DISCUSSION: What are your thoughts? Is the video newsworthy? Should news organizations show the video or only describe it?