Was the removal of James Foley’s beheading from Twitter was ethically justified?
In the beginning, let me clarify that no act can be generalized; my analysis of twitter’s act is limited to James Foley’s act only “supposing” the beheading video was true.
After releasing the video of beheading of James Foley, twitter has removed it upon the request of Foley’s family, friends and supporters. They believe that such propaganda videos help ISIS terrorize people worldwide without any effort and harm James’s family and friends.
Some people claim that twitter is controlling the freedom of speech on its platform and warnings should be posted about the violence; the public should have the choice of watching or not watching. But if they want to watch, they should be able to do so. Maybe watch the video is optional but the consequence after watching it is not. Getting used to watch such scenes will increase the violence for viewers and that can’t be compared to video games or movie since this is “supposedly” real footage. In addition to that, those videos help ISIS achieve its terror goals and harm the victim’s family.
Dictators and Terrorists care about their propaganda as much they care about their army. ISIS used James Foley to send their massage to the US government. Maybe if the videos weren’t spread by media in general ISIS would stop filming or even doing their crimes and find another ways to spread terror.
By removing the video freedom of speech on twitter and ISIS propaganda are being harmed. Freedom of speech does not imply harming others to spread your thoughts or beliefs. Truth could be spread through articles or even unclear photos of the crime. But spreading the original video will cause harm to the family and friends of the victim and increase the ability of terrorizing people. In addition to that, how does spreading these kinds of videos make an improvement? If those videos weren’t so helpful to ISIS they wouldn’t set huge budgets to produce and market them.
James Foley was a photojournalist himself, but never captured or spread death and violence. We have the right, as an audience to be aware of what is happening around the world and we have the right to be protected from any phase of terror. James Folly is a human who has family and friends who are more concerned about him more than other. They refuse to show him being killed with no dignity for his county, job or himself. We don’t have the right to ask for keeping the video to please our curiosity. Maybe shutting the video down won’t bring Foley back to his family but it will definitely harm ISIS propaganda and bring peace to social media. Twitter didn’t remove the video for nothing; they did upon the request and respect of James Foley’s family and friends.