We can all agree that charity is good, helping others is good, and if you can help someone in need you definitely should. Nonprofit organizations and charities often use very persuasive commercials that tug at your heart strings to increase their donations. But when does it start to cross the line?

Poverty Porn is defined as 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.

This ad was part of the East African Emergency Campaign in 1980 run by the U.K. charity Disasters Emergency Committee.
The ad campaign brought in $23 million for hunger relief in Ethiopia. Ads like the one may make you feel sick to the stomach, extreme guilt and concern which definitely helps to in bring in the sympathy funds.

Although these ads may eventually be helpful for people in struggle others think they are not appropriate.
I would like to leave off with some questions. How do you feel about pictures like these being used for charity campaigns and ads? Do you think it is necessary for charities to use shocking images to raise awareness and increase donations?

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Jessica Perez

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