fifiste wrote:Jonesthe Spy wrote:It's an interesting question about responsibility, given the inevitability of the cause and effect. Does the original film maker bear the most responsibility? The Egyptian media for reporting on the Youtube video that might have otherwise been ignored and unknown? Is it solely the rioters fault and no one else bears any blame? And the BBC is reporting that the supposed film maker may just be a pseudonym and no one knows who actually made the film. Was it a deliberate attempt to stir up a reaction by Muslim fundies to further some other political goal?
It is a time honoured tradition on these boards to call this kind of statements as evil evil victim blaming. Esp. if you look into any thread concerning rape. It is quite a common to see that any suggestions that the victim might have something done to not be placed into the attack are pure evil.
The thing is, there's nothing in that about the victims (and in threads such as you refer to, rape culture receives plenty of blame). The outcome was foreseeable (indeed that is likely an understatement - considering that the type of person who would make such a video should be welled versed in the history of these types of revenge attacks). So yes, the decision to do something that has a foreseeable bad outcome (or as I suspect in this case, because it has a foreseeable bad outcome) does come with some responsibility. Is the film maker a victim? Not at all. He's an idiot who chose to incite violence, with the knowledge that he'd be nowhere near the receiving end.
The fact that the perpetrators are responsible for their actions goes without saying. No one here questions their agency. The issue is that the film maker chose to make the film despite his prior knowledge that this would almost certainly inspire them to violence.
On a slightly different note, I've been wondering the past couple days if the governments that the rioters (whether in this case in Egypt, or past cases such as Afghanistan) used to be under have some impact on these situations. That is, living under an oppressive government for so long, where media and ideas were strictly controlled, things that were allowed could be assumed to be approved or even encouraged by the state. Thus, when a few Americans do something offensive, do some people look at the American government as responsible (that is, since governments in their mind have final say, America as a nation approved or even generated the content).