Freedom of Sharing Content on Social Media: Twitter Removing James Foley Video
Amid the ISIS beheading, one unfortunate victim was James Foley an American journalist. A video documenting his beheading was uploaded and created uproar on the Internet; making sites such as twitter a leading platform in the advertisement of this video. However, the emotional damage this video has caused Foley’s family came out as a decision to remove this video from twitter by which twitter complied to do. This action came as a controversy for some, who attacked twitter on violating their “freedom of speech” decree or others, who praised their morals and called them to have done an ethical act; but what was an ethical act actually, and why is it considered a bad decision.
A trivial beheading video among many more, and among the horrors shown on TV daily, it sure created a lot of buzz and dispute online. Normally, people see their own interests in every action taken; therefore, in this situation who has benefited from this elimination other than Foley’s family, who regained their dignity and respect for their late son, also, the US government itself. The US government has spent years fighting terrorism and reassuring their people that they are stronger than any terrorist act out there; however, this video was a set back when an American was killed by a terrorist. The deletion of the video is a way the US government labelled as “erasing the evidence” and gaining control over the terrorist acts happening and the threat they are causing. It was for their own benefit to reclaim supremacy on this horrendous act by deleting it from twitter and showing their people that the worst is over. Moreover, twitter was one of the beneficiaries after the removal of the video, for it became a safer platform for underage users to use. Parents would have caused a riot if the video was still up and running on twitter where it is easily accessible for their children to view violence and gore. This would have cost twitter a lot of users and a reputation of an unfriendly site, which would trigger their reputation downhill. On the other hand, whoever was harmed by the subtraction of this video were two obvious figures. The first is obviously ISIS themselves; objectively speaking the video was made for the soul purpose of terrorism and planting fear into people’s lives. By removing this video, not only was their “publicity” removed but also the fact that they have no power online showed a weakness people would use against them. Also, this harmed twitter by showing that their “freedom of speech” decree was breached proving their priorities wrong. If the video was removed it means twitter users do not have the complete freedom in sharing anything they want unless a higher power orders them to remove it. The reputation of twitter was at steak and both decisions whether to keep it or remove would backfire.
This decision was not all in all justifiable. It was implemented nonetheless; however, twitter had too many things to think about before taking this step. Anything uploaded online these days stays online whether removed or not. The worldwide web is too big for a government to control and keep out from venturing from hacker to hacker. Twitter removing the video was not safe for it has already spread and removing it from their platform removed it only from their platform.
In conclusion, the ISIS beheading are going to continue and more videos will come, will social media be able to stop them all?