As the news of US journalist James Foley's death spread, Twitter struggled through the day to restrict sharing of pictures and a video that were being circulated by Islamic State members on the platform. Several users tweeted asking the social media platform to take some action while urging fellow users from sharing the photos and video.
Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State on Tuesday. Foley had been missing in Syria for two years. The news of his death was confirmed by his family earlier today by his mother in a statement released on Facebook.
National Journal reported that Twitter struggled to circumvent its own moderating policy as it moved to crack down on those sharing the images and suspend their accounts. However, they have not been able to contain the sharing of the images and the video. They briefly suspended account of a journalist who was reporting the death of Foley while reinstating the account of some Islamic State members before correcting its mistake.
The Islamic State has been using Twitter to put out graphic images of its deeds as well as using its members accounts to spam the platform.
Hey @Twitter, ISIS accounts are @ replying us w/ beheading and your abuse form is incredibly lengthy as to discourage reporting. Plz change.
— benhuh (@benhuh) August 20, 2014
@twitter; can you PLEASE remove the picture preview for James Foley's death? These images shouldn't be seen without warning. Or at all.
— MK Kearns (@mkkearns) August 19, 2014
Dear @Twitter please, please, please remove the awful images of James Foley. Let him rest in piece and starve IS of publicity.
— Nick Canham (@NCanham) August 19, 2014
— J.M. Berger (@intelwire) August 20, 2014
Looks like Twitter suspended @zaidbenjamin for reporting on Foley. Seems they should be putting their energies towards ISIS propagandists.
— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) August 19, 2014
HOT TIP: do NOT do a Twitter search for James Wright Foley unless you want to see brutally graphic images of his death right up top.
— Justin Morissette (@JustinMoris) August 19, 2014
— Kristina Dei (@2kdei) August 19, 2014
I emplore media/Twitter to have some respect & not show scene pics/vid of James Foley's death. Pls show this instead. pic.twitter.com/XSnOOJAd5y
— Jonas Chartock (@jonaschartock) August 19, 2014
James Foley died in the service of our common humanity. Don't tarnish that by spreading the video of his death.
— Joshua Lyman (@joshualyman) August 19, 2014
— Kristen Amiet (@KrissiAmiet) August 20, 2014