BBC policy on social networking site pics

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The ease of availability of personal pictures from social networking sites does not remove the media’s responsibility in assessing the sensitivities in using it, according to the BBC’s news website editor.

Steve Hermann, writing on the BBC editors’ blog, said the ethics of using personal pictures posted on social networking sites was raised at the latest editorial meeting for BBC staff.

Guidelines were subsequently drawn up, which include considering the context in which the photo was originally published, the impact of re-use on those grieving or distressed, legal issues of privacy and copyright and the picture should also be verifed.

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