The world is fast becoming desensitized. People rush to blame social media platforms for allowing graphical content to be public. It is horrible to even consider it. But it is not about pictures or videos anymore. It is very easy to point fingers at platforms such as Facebook, & Twitter. But both of them are flexible and adaptable, they are not an omnipotent force governing what the people chose to say or think. They are there to serve the masses, to help them share ‘What’s on Your Mind?’. Without any doubt, it is the masses that use it to spread, leak, discuss and argue about any topic or subject. As far as it goes, Social Media platforms are objective viewers of the world. They are merely tools used by the people. Just like medicine is a tool that can be turned into a plague by the people, or weapons that are used for invasions rather than defense. Everything is tampered to fit the person at hand. If it is a journalist then no doubt he will use Twitter for click baits or attention. If it is a sensitive heartbroken pacifist then the case of James Foley would be a horrible thing to be uploaded. If its a coldhearted war veteran who has seen it all, then there is no problem sharing violent & graphical content to raise awareness of the real threats touching the world.
James Foley’s mother clearly stated and asked for privacy to mourn their cherished son. But people could not stop the case from becoming a topic of discussion. Even when they are discussing the ethical stance of the situation, they are automatically reducing a human being into a topic, a debate, infuriating family, filling the papers, generating buzz and trends in social media. It does not matter what the real intention is. The very fact that James Foley case is being discussed on every platform and classroom then the people are not respecting the mother’s wishes. But then again, Social Media(Youtube) should not monitor and then take down the violent videos that are uploaded, nor twitter and much less Facebook. As adressed earlier, they are merely there to serve as a link between one personal and the hub of the world. It is the person behind the upload (journalist or not) who should make the right decision. The right being the one brought forth by the mother which clearly asks for privacy. Recently, everybody is becoming desensitized because information wether horrifying or not is being shared at a rapid amount in a very daily accessible way but cometh the time where one’s Son would go through the same thing god forbid, then it will be the father asking for privacy, and the son will be another hot topic of discussion for the masses and the classes. I applaud social media for putting an effort to block graphical videos, but if it does not come from the majority of people then they have clearly been reduced to coldhearted critics who presume to understand what to make of a devastating situation such as this merely by watching a video on an application. In that case Twitter and youtube have helped make a good decision of putting a barrier on such content and hope is on the rise when seeing active users backing out ISIS media to throw them off their propaganda course which. their main weapon.
The obvious choice would be to give more power to platforms who are willing to risk viewership to flag and ban propaganda videos and violent content while hoping the meanwhile that people would stop downsizing a man’s life to a topic of discussion. People can and will find a way to read the news. And after a statement of family asks for privacy, then the topic, or case, should be sealed, and no further importance should be given to ISIS either.
Ingram, M. (2014, August 20). Should Twitter and YouTube remove images of James Foley’s beheading, or do we have a right to see them? Retrieved from https://gigaom.com/2014/08/20/should-twitter-and-youtube-remove-images-of-james-foleys-beheading-or-do-we-have-a-right-to-see-them/
Parkinson, H.J. (2014, August 20). James Foley: How social media is fighting back against Isis propaganda. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/20/james-foley-how-social-media-is-fighting-back-against-isis-propaganda?CMP=share_btn_link