Without Prior Notice!

Famously known for their freedom of speech policy; social media platform “Twitter” does it again and breaks what they promised their users.

“Twitter” not only removed a trending video that didn’t violate any of their rules and regulations, but they also deleted the accounts of the users sharing that video. The video showed a violent act of murder, an ISIS fighter decapitating an American journalist. In reference to the class slides and discussions, what twitter did was unacceptable professionally, because they made the move based on instinct and emotion; rather that facts and logic.

It’s easy to say that the main beneficiaries of the removal of the video are the family and friends of the journalist, and the supporters of their online campaign, but twitter didn’t stop to wonder about the harm they might cause by removing the video and blocking the users who shared it. Twitter stole the right of freedom of speech from their users, even the right to watch the content that people might be interested in was gone. They basically terminated the video from Twitter servers for all users.

When arguing about ethics I tend to look into it from an outsiders POV, I look into Twitter’s privacy policy and I see that they clearly don’t obide by their own policies; which is highly unethical, regardless of the cruelty of the content they removed, because after all it was published by a user who had the right to share whatever they feel like.

thumbnail of the removed video

Twitter tried to justify their action by getting us to sympathise with the family and friends of the decapitated journalist; which was highly unprofessional, because they obviously sided with one side over the other. Considering that social media platforms with such a huge amount of followers should obide by the rules set for journalists and news agencies, because social media networks have become one of the main sources for news in the current day of age. If Twitter can’t be objective when it comes to what stories they remove and what stories they promote; they are simply being unethical and unprofessional.

I believe that users should have the freedom to watch the video if they are interested and not watch it if they are not, but removing the video eliminates that option once and for all.

The whole situation could have been avoided if Twitter obided by the rules shared by news agencies and journalists. They shouldn’t act upon the request of users because that defies the definition of “freedom of speech”.

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