The other reason people are upset about the 'hijacker selfie'

Ben Innes Image copyright Ben Innes

OK, let's start at the beginning. What is a selfie?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

So that's pretty clear - the picture has to be taken by a person who actually appears in it.

That brings us to the photo of the moment - the image of grinning Ben Innes next to the alleged EgyptAir hijacker Seif al-Din Mustafa.

Innes, himself, said of the snap: "It has to be the best selfie ever!"

Many were understandably astonished that Innes had asked for a picture with a man who was holding him, and others, hostage wearing what was then thought to be a suicide bomber belt, but which later turned out to be a fake.

But that wasn't the only reason people got exercised about the photo:

Image copyright Twitter/@Amyxjean
Image copyright Twitter/@glennebrey

More than 45,000 people tweeted about the picture. Many including several comedians, went with the selfie line:

Image copyright Twitter/@WeeMissBea
Image copyright Twitter/@MrGeorgeWallace

Others were steadfast in their opposition:

Image copyright Twitter/@Eve_Beauregard

The BBC avoided the word "selfie" in the headline to its original story about the photo. But many other publications, to the annoyance of some, did drop the s-bomb in big type.

Image copyright Twitter/@Austin_Federa

And the word even earned a rebuke from Innes' mother who (in addition to expressing some concern about her son's safety) said: "All we can say is that the picture is clearly not a selfie as everyone has been describing it."


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To further drive the point home phone footage, apparently filmed by another hostage, has now emerged of the non-selfie being taken by the one of the cabin staff on the hijacked plane.

And of course, there have been plenty of jokes, and laments at the state of the world (and the English language):

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter/davidschneider

Blog by Mike Wendling

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