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TIME’s Boston Bombing Cover Photo of Terrified Boy Sparks Controversy

This haunting image appears on the cover of this week’s TIME magazine special tablet-only issue, focusing on the Boston Marathon bombings.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy in the photo can’t be older than maybe 5 or 6. The crying child, his hair streaked with blood, is being carried by an officer from the scene of the attack in Boston. The Twitterverse is reacting with the question of whether the heartbreaking photo goes too far, prompting strong reactions on both sides.

“It's tragic enough this child had to suffer through the live bombing. Now, he'll have to relive it TIME and TIME again. Poor taste,” says one concerned Twitter user. “Disgusting. Giving the bad guys what they want. Idiots,” says another.

One person tweeted his concern that the image perhaps didn’t convey the right message, saying, “Pics of injured children are provocative - but I don't think this pic is strong enough to lead on this story.”

Boston-based freelancer Bill Hoenik shot the original image, and told TIME, “I was horrified by what I was seeing, but there was some sort of instinct that said, don’t worry about that, just keep shooting, because you’re the only person with a camera around that I could see and it needs to be done. So I kept shooting.”

TIME is known for some of its past controversial cover images. Remember the May 21, 2012 breast feeding cover that posed the question, “Are you mom enough?” We sure do.

TIME’s special issue on the Boston tragedy will be released in full on Thursday, and will be free.

We want to know what you think: Did the magazine go too far with the photo, or does the image reflect the reality of the emotional and physical effects of the attack? Tell us below.

Source: Instagram

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04.18.2013 / 05:45 AM EDT by Emmalie Vance
Related: Moms, Boston Marathon

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