Artist James Bridle conceived of Dronestagram — an Instagram account that shows satellite images of locations where recent military drone strikes occurred — as a way to remind people of the reality of drone warfare.
Though the intent might have been to point out the horrors of drone strikes on real targets — "to make these things more visible and immediate," as he told BuzzFeed in November — some people view the project as a way to point out successful missions, as indicated by comments like, "America 1 terrorist 0 Love dronestagram," "Get those sand nigers," and "Blast away. Terrorists be gone!!!"
When political art is opened up to comments on social media, there's no controlling the audience reaction — as corporations have learned again and again when their own campaigns backfire on Twitter or Facebook. It can also happen to a well-crafted artistic anti-war statement.
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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