Was Twitter right to remove the beheading video of James Foley?
Twitter is a real time global information network that lets the users to create and share their ideas and information instantly. This help the people or the users to be connected together everywhere. On Twitter, everyone has the right to post anything except the illegal things and spam. The video of beheading James Foley who is an American Journalist by ISIS was posted on Twitter and on all social media. After that, the video was removed on Twitter. In this situation, is it posting such a video like this be an illegal and spam or not?
According to the conditions and terms of service of twitter, there are three things we cannot do and we get kicked off twitter. 1- Child pornography. 2- Direct violence. 3- Spam. So now is it ethical to post a video of beheading someone on twitter? The main aim of ethics is to applying and implementing ideas of “the good” that promotes the behaviors and values of people that reflect the needs of society. This kind of video beheading someone is not good at all. Our humanity don’t encourage watching these kind of videos. On the other hand, two groups of people can benefit from this video, the one who is against ISIS and the one who is with ISIS. Automatically, the one with ISIS will benefit from sharing the video, but also the one who is against ISIS can share this video of beheading James Foley to show all the people around the world what ISIS is doing and doesn’t belong to our world and should be destroyed. This will help all the countries to do a movement and fight ISIS till death. So this is one of the positive thing of sharing this video. For example, ISIS are on the list of terrorist organizations on U.S. government and it is considered a criminal offence to provide comfort or aid to such groups, but the question is what about the Palestinian group Hamas that is defined also by many as a terrorist and can post on twitter regularly. So ISIS and Hamas both of them are the same. Ethics and laws aims to be impartial, a safeguard against injustice, free of bias, discrimination or ignorance. So there is no logic in removing the video on twitter.
However, the aim of all the social media is to have freedom of speech which is a fundamental human right. The benefits of removing the video of beheading James Foley that we are not promoting violent and we are respecting Foley and his family and friends. Secondly, is supporting the global of war on terror and the national security polices at the same time. The harms on removing this video that there is a minimal harm on ISIS since the link is everywhere on the internet and if it is removed on twitter it doesn’t make the video disappear at all. So the freedom of speech is being violated.
I can understand twitter’s decision by removing this video because it has emotional distress and dignity of Foley and I have the same feeling of Foley but this should not let us be above the interests of the general public and its audience, knowing that the emotional pain of Foley’s family and friends is severe and deserves to be respect from everyone.
So was twitter right to remove the beheading video of James Foley? My answer is no. it doesn’t have the right to do so due its conditions that encourage the freedom of speech. And if someone doesn’t want to watch this kind of videos is up to him/her and we respect their desires and I am one of those people who doesn’t like this kind of videos but it doesn’t mean the video should be removed, we can simply skip it.