SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— YouTube and Twitter say they’ve closed the accounts of anyone who tries to post video showing the beheadings of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
The reaction came from the Bay Area tech companies on Wednesday as an unnamed Silicon Valley insider said a strategy was created for removing the images from the Internet.
“The propaganda war, the cyber war that’s going on between governments and non-state entities like ISIS (aka ISIL) raise really a whole host of wicked questions,” said Sonoma State Professor David McCuan whose focus is global politics and international security.
“We can think about Big Brother and 1984, but there’s also an aspect of groups that are involved in terrorism and political violence [who] want to have as much free media as possible and media companies are faced with really fundamental questions about balancing the need to know versus what is decent and in good taste and protects privacy,” he said.
Twitter said Foley’s family asked to remove the video from its platform. Journalist and freedom of speech advocate, Glenn Greenwald, wonders if we really want YouTube and Twitter deciding what we should or should not see in the name of countering terrorist propaganda.