The Four Reasons
We have been criticized for putting the video clip from our attack online.
People told us it was an irresponsible act that would fuel right wing, anti-migrant sentiments.
However, we have a few sets of very specific reasons which we wish to make explicit here.
First of all, our 40 second clip is a condensed version of the refugee crisis that is indeed very complex. There are predatory, 'bad' refugees attacking us, there are however also brave, valiant refugees that come to our rescue. This is an accurate reflection of the diversity of the migrant population.
Secondly, our clip proves exactly our point that we think the immigration debate has been extremely polarized in which each side has dug itself in its own, self-confirming bubbles, 'information cocoon' in the words of economist Joseph Stiglitz, in which feel safe from opinions and fact that challenge their viepwpoints. Each side is so convinced of it own rights, swallows in moral superiority and accuses the opposite camp of either inhumanity or plain stupidity. Social media have accelerated this trend. Most discourses these days seem based on emotions. The picture of the drowned toddler Aylan caused an outpour of support for refugees. After Cologne, the public opinion flipped. The heated reactions on social media to our clip illustrate to the bipolar, schizophrenic attitude dividing society. We think a healthy debate and constructive policies should be based on rational arguments, not on prejudices, not on wishful, thinking but foremost, not on superficial emotions caused by sharing dramatic images on social media.
Thirdly, as sincere journalists who value freedom of speech, we disapprove of any form of censorship and even worse, of self-censorship. We think is it rather paternalistic that journalists should decide what information is deemed fit for the public. We love to think our audience is mature enough to handle the information provided by us in a responsible way. That this is not always the case, is sad, but does not legitimize a selective distribution of information.
Last, in our documentary, we show different perspectives. We show views of migrants, aid workers, volunteers, activists, politicians, authorities, law enforcement personal and last but not least, the vox populi, the man in the street in Calais. By posting our clip, we have invited the vox populi in the online and anonymous world. It is very interesting to see the wild array of responses. We have been accused of being leftwing, naive dangerous idiots, we have been accused of either being pro-muslim or anti-muslim, people called us fascists, some are convinced the attack scene was fake and staged for publicity purposes. This wild array of responses, has turned to be ab unintended social experiment which we will use in our documentary.