Over the past 12 hours Twitter has suspended dozens of accounts that had been disseminating the Islamic State propaganda video showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo confirmed that the company were suspending accounts in a tweet saying:
“We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you”
The move comes amid calls on the 140-character social network to #RespectJamesFoley with an #ISISmediablackout, to avoid giving the Islamic State the publicity that it craves to recruit new members and generate financing.
Blackout on group that murdered James Foley. Don't share video. Give them nothing. #RespectJamesFoley
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 20, 2014
Twitter user @ZeddRebel eloquently describes why he believes social media users and the media should impose a media blackout on ISIS:
“When terrorists or war criminals deliberately advertise their crimes, don’t help them. When social media shares gruesome photos widely to report the events, journalists and observers are doing their PR for them, and this social media effect just encourages more of the same brutal behaviour. Describe their crimes, don’t publish their propaganda. It should be a new norm to just report these crimes and say their verified with photos that are withheld to deny the actors the publicity they want.”
James Foley’s sister Kelly also urged people not to watch or share the gruesome video of her brother’s death, tweeting:
“Please honour James Foley and respect my family’s privacy. Don’t watch the video. Don’t share it. That’s not how life should be.”