Twitter unsure how to handle James Foley beheading video, images

Twitter and other social media outlets are unsure how to address users sharing images and videos of the bloody murder of James Foley.

Published Wed, Aug 20 2014 8:50 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 19 2020 8:15 PM CDT

Twitter and social media services are struggling to address how to block images and videos of photojournalist James Foley being beheaded by Islamic State militants. In the five-minute video, titled "A Message to America," a suspected British militant said Foley's execution is in response to recent U.S. airstrikes against IS insurgents protecting a previously seized dam in Mosul. Twitter is purging users that are sharing images and videos of the barbaric execution of the photojournalist captured in Syria.

Twitter unsure how to handle James Foley beheading video, images |

Twitter "is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery," noted Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, in a recent tweet.

In the UK, simply viewing, downloading or sharing the video could lead to charges under the UK's terrorism legislation.

On 4chan and similar websites, the video has quickly spread and is generating tremendous interest from some Internet users - and is a clever marketing tool for IS to try to recruit new members for its extremist cause in Iraq and Syria.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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