The removal of James Foley’s beheading from Twitter

James Foley is an American Journalist and video reporter who went missing in Syria. He was then decapitated by ISIS in August 2014, making him the first American ever killed by the Islamic State. In response to the fast widespread of the video, people were warned that sharing and watching the video is a “crime”. Twitter and Youtube executives also warned that the video will be deleted from their mediums.

A debate has been going on on whether the video of the beheading of the American James Foley should or shouldn’t have been taken off of social media.

To study if the removal of the video was justified, a comparison should be done to see the difference between the two cases:

The violent videos that ISIS put on the internet leave a long term effect on people:

For example, systematic desensitization. The fact that people are getting used to seeing blood and crime on the use is not a good thing. This might lead for people to unconsciously believe that violence is okay. Below is one example:

Another reason for why the removal of the video is justified is because the mediums which removed the video did it out of respect to the victim’s family. Not only does this show respect, but also it gives the social media mediums some hidden marketing stunts ( by showing that they care about what other people think or feel).

On the other hand, the video allowed experts to have more material to show whether the videos were real or just altered with visual effects

Some might argue that watching the violent videos that ISIS put out would only feed the attention that ISIS are craving. However; the removal of the videos from social media has done ISIS no harm. In fact, they might have gotten more attention.

For others, watching the video is a journalistic virtue. Watching the videos teach us how violent and inhumane ISIS can be. It also shows what ISIS are capable of.

What’s for sure is that no problem has ever been fixed by ignoring it. Not watching the video does not fix the problem of violence done by ISIS. Maybe in a way, ISIS are doing a good job by showing people by displaying what they do on social media.

In conclusion, there is no way to figure out if twitter removing the video is justified or not. However Twitter should be clear in their guidelines that any content that causes controversy should be removed. Twitter does mention that “offensive” content will be removed; however, the term is too broad and not specific.

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