Quantcast
The beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley by an ISIS militant was filmed; should it be shared online? | Deseret News National
Get Deseret News National Email Updates Every Day.
Associated Press
Media

The beheading of U.S. photojournalist James Foley by an ISIS militant was filmed; should it be shared online?

The beheading of a U.S. photojournalist made public in an online video has sparked debate on social media about how such videos should be handled.

A video went online Tuesday of photographer James Foley being beheaded at the hands of an ISIS militant, who threatened to kill another Time magazine contributor based on President Obama's "next decision." Foley, a freelance photographer who worked all over the Middle East, was 40 years old and had been missing for two years.

Gawker published photos and a link to the video (since removed) in its reporting on Foley's death. The New York Post tweeted a graphic still shot of Foley's beheading as its cover photo, enraging many readers, as Business Insider reported.

"This cover is by far your worst, most insensitive and tasteless. Whomever is responsible for this is out of touch and irresponsible," user Andrew Paskoff tweeted to the Post.

Mashable reported the Twitter backlash to various outlets, including CNN, showing stills to brief clips from the video. But others, like Metro news editor Joel Taylor, felt the video should be public.

"James Foley video is astonishingly painful, but it should be seen, it shows what we're facing. Censorship never the answer," Taylor tweeted.

After YouTube removed the video from its site, Twitter began suspending accounts that tweeted graphic images of Foley's death, but Twitter did not respond to Business Insider's questions about why the New York Post's graphic tweets remained intact.

Members of Foley's family, including his sister Kelly, asked social media users not to watch the video of her brother's murder, which sparked an online movement to only share positive photos of Foley online.

"Describe their crimes, don't publish their propaganda," Libyan user Hend tweeted, along with the hash tag #ISISmediaBlackout.

The news of Foley's death was quickly followed with online pleas and a flurry of tweets of candid photos of Foley or portraits in an effort to remember Foley as a journalist rather than give his captors attention.

"Please tweet this photo of James Foley and not any of him in the hands of his gutless murderers," user Louise Mensch tweeted, with a portrait of Foley.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the New York Times had confirmed that the video of Foley's killing was authentic. James Foley was the top trending item on Twitter Wednesday.

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com Twitter: ChandraMJohnson