The "selfie" has created a storm of controversy on the internet, particularly on Twitter where the hashtag #ObamaSelfie has generated a flurry of tweets -- many of them highly critical of President Obama's decision to participate in the photo.
Hundreds of world leaders were present for Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Johannesburg earlier this week. During the service, Thorning-Schmidt appeared to have initiated the selfie which shows her flanked by Cameron and Obama, all three wearing wide grins.
The trio has been forced to defend their actions with Downing Street playing down the criticism. According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the British Prime Minister responded by saying, "I think what the PM would say about yesterday is it was very much a celebration of Nelson Mandela and his life and his achievements."
In the United States, the "selfie seen 'round the world" was countered with a White House release of 24 photos from the event -- none of which show the selfie or Obama's conversation with Thorning-Schmidt, though she is shown in the background of one of the photos.
As for the man who took the photo of the "selfie" moment -- Roberto Schmidt -- the Washington Post reports he defended the three saying, “At the time, I thought the world leaders were simply acting like human beings, like me and you. I doubt anyone could have remained totally stony faced for the duration of the ceremony, while tens of thousands of people were celebrating in the stadium. For me, the behaviour of these leaders in snapping a selfie seems perfectly natural.”
Was the "selfie" a perfectly natural activity at the memorial service or totally inappropriate? Leave a comment or vote in our poll. Note: This is not a scientific poll. It is for entertainment purposes only.
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