Poverty Porn by definition is “any type of media, be it written, photographed or filmed, which exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate the necessary sympathy for selling newspapers or increasing charitable donations or support for a given cause”, and it is something that we all at one point in our lives have witnessed or seen with our own eyes, whether we realize it or not. This used to be showcased with photos of frail looking individuals sitting by their bare-boned homes, today we see it in TV commercials and even more prevalent on social media. The day and age has changed, but the content of what poverty porn is has remained the same. The creation or commercialization of Poverty Porn has many different goals but the main outcome that is hoped to achieve is to generate sympathy for their own good. Much of the time people who organize poverty porn Ads or campaigns want to use these images to raise money and gain momentum for their campaign and their fight.
Poverty Porn has benefits for the people that are trying to exploit the usage of it, but all in all it’s very harmful. It’s harmful to the individuals that are in these photos and in these videos. Poverty Porn is an absolute invasion of privacy. In these photos we see people who are struggling, they are struggling most of the time in the place they call home. At home is where we should most feel safe and most feel that sense of privacy, these images do not allow for that or provide that. When I see these images on TV or on social media I sometimes think about what I would do if it were me in their position and I can’t help but feel I’d feel a sense of embarrassment. And that’s not their fault, those who are using these images to exploit feelings of sympathy for their own selfish use are at fault. Some may make the argument that the people running these ads and making these commercials genuinely want to help, and they make make the argument that they’re not trying to exploit these struggling people. But if they truly are, I’d say they’re going about it the complete wrong way. There are people all over the world that truly do need help, and they can be helped. I don’t think they need their faces plastered all over the internet and television networks to accomplish that. I don’t believe they want or need our sympathy, they need our help.