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Keywords:

  • anthropological responsibility;
  • imagery;
  • visual data;
  • visual ethics;
  • visual media

Rooted in anthropologists' long-standing roles as producers, users, and disseminators of images, this brief article takes the pulse of ethical considerations related to visual media in the discipline. Reflecting on the intent, content, and implications of the Society for Visual Anthropology–sponsored visual ethics discussion sessions at the 2007–9 American Anthropological Association meetings, we seek here to situate these events in the context of recent disciplinary engagements with image-based responsibilities and to assess their relationship to comparable endeavors in allied fields. Our considerations come together in a discussion of why, how, and to whom visual ethics matter. Ultimately, we put forward a series of tentative proposals for the Society for Visual Anthropology's future navigation of these issues.