Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ok, I don't mean to get all political, but this creepy infographic steps on the toes of free speech. It appeared recently on Sarah Palin's Facebook page and lists 20 Democrats who voted to approve the Health Care Reform Package, and who were elected in previously Republican districts. Their locations are identified on the map with crosshairs – a rather crass metaphor to take up arms to defeat these Democrats in the November elections. In recent days, a number of these targeted politicians have received death threats and even had bricks thrown in their office windows. After the health bill was signed on Tuesday, Sarah shouted a plea to her Palin posse on Twitter, "Dont retreat, RELOAD!". Palin's scare tactics and her inflammatory firearms rhetoric are a shout-out to her base to take aim at these politicians and target their election campaigns. I am all for dissent and free political speech, but I find this sort of discourse and infographic offensive and irresponsible. Sarah is not going rogue – she's going ballistic. And as designers, I think we all have a responsibility to be very careful about what messages and information we promote in the name of free speech. Our actions may come at a very high cost.