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Publishing the Tragic Image of Aylan Kurdi Was Needed to Spark Action

04/09/2015 13:16 BST | Updated 03/09/2016 10:59 BST

With the devastating images of Aylan Kurdi making the front pages of the national newspapers this morning, there is a definite sense of change when it comes to the nations understanding and compassion surrounding the dire refugee situation.

There has been a lot of talk about whether or not the image should have be used and shared so freely but there is a really important reason why it absolutely should.

The utterly heart breaking images of the tragic three year old are deeply disturbing but more importantly, they are real. And tragically, Aylan is just one of thousands who have met their fatal end during a desperate pursuit of better life.

I understand many don't need to see a picture of a dead child to genuinely care but the reality is, many people do and by sharing it online we are able to directly challenge people's understanding about the humanitarian tragedy that that is happening right in front of our eyes.

The image that shocked the world yesterday isn't showing anything new, this is a situation that has existed for months, with hundreds of others meeting the same tragic fate as Aylan, but suddenly, by being so blatant and sharing such a bleak image, people aren't able to hide from the truth and are beginning to show some of the same outrage and compassion that they had for a murdered Lion a couple of weeks ago.

The reality is men and woman, mums and dads, children and babies are fleeing through sheer desperation - risking their own lives and the lives of their babies because the alternative is unthinkable.

These are human people, like you and I, whose only crime is to be born in a country not as fortunate as ours.

Yet, every day millions of us are fed lies by tabloid newspapers about 'evil immigrants' - opportunists, only here to take our jobs and money. Subhuman parasites, wanting to destroy the things we all like.

The tabloids fed us the poison and are now demanding an antidote.

For decades newspapers have been people's only source of news - unchallenged propaganda, forming public opinion and aggression to match their political agenda. But that agenda can now be challenged as social media makes newspapers out of date from the second they're printed. We can all play a role in breaking the myths and portray the real stories.

By posting a heart-breaking picture of a dead child washed ashore like an old unwanted plastic bag, we have been able to force a better understanding about the reality of the situation and put it in front of people who refuse to listen.

As upsetting as it is, that image of Aylan Kurdi could turn out to be one of the most important images that we have ever known.

I understand why people might not want to see a picture of a dead child, of course I do, but at the same time I understand that the picture needs to be seen in order to challenge dangerous and callous attitudes that are blurring our compassion.

As harrowing and upsetting as it may be, this is the reality of the world right now and we simply can't allow society to turn a blind eye.

Social Media, for all its faults, can excel at times like this. It can give us the chance to come together, to challenge what is wrong and to demand the compassion, humanity and leadership that the human race desperately requires.

Take the pain and sadness from that image and use it to make a difference. Use it to force a change. Play your part and do what is right.

We have a duty to help our fellow human beings. We have to put absolutely everything aside and do what is morally right.