Twitter is suspending accounts of people sharing journalist beheading video

Above: Journalist James Foley in Iraq.

Image Credit: Nicole Tung, Associated Press

Twitter sprang into action today to prevent its users from sharing a graphic and disturbing video of Islamic militants beheading American journalist James Foley. The State Department is still trying to verify that it is really Foley in the video and to identify the killer, who was masked and had a British accent.

The ISIS group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the beheading.

The video began appearing on Twitter early Wednesday morning, and Twitter users quickly began sharing it. It spread across the microblogging network rapidly. Soon after that, journalists and others began urging users to avoid the graphic video and stop sharing it.

Then, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced in a tweet that his company is actively suspending the accounts of anyone found to be sharing the video or stills from the video.

Costolo’s tweet read simply:

“We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you https://t.co/jaYQBKVbBF

Militant Islamic groups often take to social media channels to publicize violent terrorist actions and to claim responsibility. The suspensions were noticed early Wednesday by researchers who track terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Many tweets discussing the event today ask if the U.S. should once again return to Iraq with military force.

Twitter has been slow to censor any content on the network, but its rules state that any content that threatens another human being’s life can be deleted and the account turned off.

The video of the beheading, which I have not seen, is said to end with a threat to kill another American journalist being held by the militant group, Steven Joel Sotloff.

 

More information:

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18 comments
Jamie Burke
Jamie Burke

Well I agree but then we should suspend The Sun for having it in their front page yesterday for any child to see...

Kate Gallagher
Kate Gallagher

I honestly think the video is going to create more angry Americans than anything and we all know the middle east does not have a good history with angry americans. All in all the video was a bad move on their part, but I don't think Twitter is wrong in blocking the accounts sharing it considering the family doesn't want people to see it.

Kate Gallagher
Kate Gallagher

Probably because the family does not want it out not to mention I don't think the government does either honestly, but you can still get a full transcript.

Lee McClelland
Lee McClelland

Should then the tv networks not now report stories in case twitter users comment on them?

Michael Zeuthen
Michael Zeuthen

I saw the video when it first came out and I cannot get the image and sound out of my head. Twitter is doing everyone a favor...

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

As an ex-american, i want to be the first to forgive, as jesus would do. ISIS, i forgive you for what you have done... No hard feelings. Its what jesus would have wanted, and who am i to argue with jesus, the lord and savior of creationists all over america (67% of americans)

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

Maybe more americans should learn about what jesus expects from his followers... I dont think its hammering ISIS. Nope. FORGIVE. THATS WHAT JESUS ASKS OF AMERICANS. :)

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

Besides, one less American to spread racism, bigotry, prejudice, sexism, and speciesism (the combination of all 4) is not the end of the world. Just try to learn from it, if at all possible, and forgive them as your god implores you to do. Turn the other cheek. Its the right thing to do, if u love jesus. Right?

Alex Redman
Alex Redman

Well, considering its not a beheading of AN america, but america ITSELF, i understand. I mean, this is an image of things to come and that is scary for poor lost misguided americans. I agree this should be censored! No american will ever learn from it anyways... But like they say, dont hate the playa... Just hate the game (americans created). Expect a lot more of this, but on home turf soon. Sad. Well, karma is a bitch.

Vero Tabares
Vero Tabares

Yet we never censor the graphic 9/11 footage, even though we know what happened.

Michael L. Plumb
Michael L. Plumb

The truth? We know the truth. He was beheaded. Seeing it only gives the terrorists what they want. Fear and recruits.

Vero Tabares
Vero Tabares

Nothing wrong with a little censorship. Nothing bad came from holding back the truth.