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Jennifer Alfonso photo posted on Buzzfeed, Gawker sparks backlash

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Derek Medina shocked his friends, family and soon, the world when he published a photo of his wife, Jennifer Alfonso, apparently dead, and confessed to killing her.

News of the gruesome overshare quickly went viral, but, while most publications abstained from publishing all or even part of the image, a few, including Buzzfeed and Gawker published the full image.

The backlash was swift, and it was harsh on Facebook (where the viral site included a warning) and on Twitter (where it did not).


Policy Mic, which said it censored the images "because it is not necessary or appropriate for a news outlet to show such horrific pictures," {link:called Buzzfeed's "distasteful audacity" to publish the images an "all-time low."
: "http://www.policymic.com/articles/58755/buzzfeed-s-revolting-new-low-making-a-facebook-photo-of-a-murder-victim-go-viral" target="_blank" title="PolicyMic"}

Salon considered Buzzfeed's crime worse in that it turned a human life -- Alfonso's -- into something on the level of "a George Takei joke" to be shared and passed around.

Other publications chose not to show the full image, instead, blurring or pixelating Alfonso's body so only an outline or her knees were visible.

Both Buzzfeed and Gawker have since removed the full photo, leave just part of the image and the comments under it, and Facebook has removed the image entirely.

Medina and Alfonso married in 2010, divorced in February 2012 and remarried three months later.

South Miami police declined to comment on the Facebook post, but confirmed that Medina turned himself in and was charged with first-degree murder. He was expected to be arraigned Friday.

UPI agrees with other publications that publishing this image adds nothing to the narrative of the story. While the fact that the photo was posted on Facebook is newsworthy, the image in itself is not. -Ed.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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