The war in the networks

September 28, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

The Ukrainian war is everywhere, including on social media. While Pope Francis tweeted in 11 languages, including Ukrainian and Russian, "In the name of God, enough! Think of the children!"In the last few days, a photo of a little girl taken by her father was circulating: an image that will go down in history as an emblem of all that has been false in this conflict. I am referring to the nine-year-old Ukrainian girl sucking on a lollipop and holding a rifle. The father had placed an unloaded rifle of his own in his daughter's hands and had artificially constructed the image with all its elements and attitudes - including the lollipop - as an emblem against the Russian invasion. He had said it but many people did not realize it and took it as real. It ended up on the front pages of many newspapers and in many places and became a symbol of the horror of war: but not according to the father's intentions, not as an image of resistant pride against the invader, but as one more proof of how the tragedy unleashed by Putin's aggression can distort every relationship and poison everything and everyone. The very serious imprudence committed by many influencers by posting videos and photos of their underage children on social networks for the sole purpose of gaining visibility and therefore money, becomes in this case an intolerable violence. That nine-year-old girl whose father put a rifle in her hand has been transformed into a "child soldier" in a way not unlike that of her unnamed companions who die far from Europe in the thousands of conflicts in the Third World. All that remains is the need to apologize to all the girls and boys used and abused in the logic of war, even by her own father and even with the best of intentions. 

The authorMauro Leonardi

Priest and writer.

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