A number of individuals passing by the Lindt Café in Sydney, Australia–the site of a violent siege by an Islamist terrorist–began posting “selfie” photos of themselves smiling in front of the horrifying scene. These people received massive criticism on social media.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) December 15, 2014
Just before 10 a.m. local time, Man Haron Monis–a self-described “sheik” with Islamist sympathies and an extensive criminal past that included sexual assault violations–seized the café. In addition to holding the hostages, Monis told authorities he carried bombs and planted more around the buildings. For hours, police did not know what was going on or if more terrorists would join in.
Regardless, a number of young Australians chose the setting for a “selfie” photo:
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) December 15, 2014
People reacted with outrage as the pictures made the rounds on social media:
— Linda Wang (@therealindawang) December 15, 2014
— Daniel Menna (@MadMenNa) December 15, 2014
Selfie disgrace: Shameful file of people posing for pictures of themselves at the scene of Sydney terror siege (Daily Mail Australia)
— Gilles Klein (@GillesKLEIN) December 15, 2014
People taking selfies at the area around the Sydney hostage situation. We have reached peak selfie and it is terrible.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 15, 2014
to those who have taken selfie’s at the Siege in Sydney, you give ghouls a a run for there money. #scumbags
— Agent Orange (@dte38) December 15, 2014
The police confirmed the siege ended before 2:31 a.m. local time, about 17 hours after it started, and police and paramedics stormed the cafe around 2:20 a.m. Live broadcasts showed bright lights inside the building, but authorities did not confirm any injuries or deaths. CNN, however, is now reporting that at least two individuals have died and four are in critical condition.