Why are you taking the photograph in the first place? If you are selling an image then you sell it to the person knowing they will and can interpret the image into what they see will benefit themselves especially Photojournalists, but even the general public will take an image you have worked on to produce something to be proud of only to stick an Instagram filter on it. When you sell it you loose it as hard as you may try to keep control.
"Photographers are there to record stories, as they happen and when they happen, in the best way we can. But what happens after that, how our images are used, can be out of our control, especially in the digital age – which is unfortunate, particularly in this case. [Ukip used the shot in its Brexit campaign (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..]"
The terms under what you sell an image, if it is of a nature to be offensive if produced in the wrong way should maybe be sold with terms that are agreed when the sale of images takes place and not put in a market place.
Jeff Mitchell said, “The people in the photo have been betrayed by Ukip, rather than me personally. But it has backfired on Ukip. People are very intelligent – they could see this was clearly not a group of people coming to the UK. They aren’t sucked in that easily. Which makes it almost comical for Ukip, because it’s had completely the opposite effect they thought it would have."
Everyone knows that when you add politics into the mix anything goes, whatever image they can use to stir up feelings against the opposition, right or wrong gets used. The second that image was sold with its current terms meant that everyone lost control, the author and the tabloid that used it, which typically is what happens when we all sell our images. Even if you put terms like do not edit the image in any way. The person who purchased it knows that, but the person who screen shots it from a website they visit hasn’t seen those terms and by the time you can ask someone to take an image down it has spread to that many people you have no chance, so I feel that you need to think about in what context you want that image to be taken and if you have no control and the image is subjective then maybe you should be more selective who you sell it to.
The image in question is nothing more than provocation using that imagery of refugees to refer to gradual immigration that happens over the years as a threat is plain wrong. It's a provocation, part of a strategy used to create fear. The photojournalist will loose out as soon as they load an image to a platform like Getty as Getty will get them to sign such a tight contract. That is a choice the journalist or author takes when they submit that image. So where does the ethical responsibility lie? Is it with the Photographer or the person who ultimately sold it?
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/jun/22/jeff-mitchells-best-shot-the-column-of-marching-refugees-used-in-ukips-brexit-campaign (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.