Even though Twitter threatened to suspend users who posted images or video from the beheading video of U.S. journalist James Foley last month, it appears that was an empty threat for major media.
As iMediaEthics wrote in a commentary, the New York Post pushed the limits with its front page image showing Foley just moments before his death with a knife at his throat. But, would Twitter carry through and suspend the Post’s Twitter account for sharing the image?
The answer was no. Even though the Post and fellow New York City tabloid the NY Daily News tweeted their front pages, Twitter kept their accounts up, Business Insider reported. The Daily News front page wasn’t quite as graphic as the Post’s but showed Foley kneeling on the ground with his masked murderer holding a knife in the air. (Online, however, the Daily News published an image of Foley’s beheaded body with his head on his back. The Daily News did pixellate Foley’s head and neck.)
Twitter explained to Business Insider that some users got a warning message before the graphic image from the Post showed up. Not all tweeters, including Business Insider, got that message, but Twitter let the Post keep tweeting.
In the meantime, the Post was at it again Sept. 3 with another still image from the beheading video on its front page.
Its front page showed Sotloff kneeling with the masked killer standing next to him holding a knife directed at the camera. The headline was “This won’t stop until WE STOP THEM!”
As this image wasn’t as graphic as the Post‘s front page of Foley’s beheading, iMediaEthics will show the Post’s and other front pages below so readers can see and judge for themselves. All images courtesy Newseum.
The NY Daily News used a similar image with the headlines “ISIS monsters behead a 2nd American” and “Do you have a strategy now, Mr. President?” The Daily News also used an inset image of President Barack Obama.
Bolivia’s Pagina Siete also used the same type of image.
And so did the Times of London.
Long Island newspaper Newsday also used an image from the video on its front page with the headline “EXECUTED: Brutal video claims to show Islamic State killing second U.S. captive.”
Stills from the video made it to the front page of numerous other international newspapers as well, iMediaEthics notes.
The Buenos Aires Herald used a close-up image of Sotloff. You can see the body of the killer and the knife next to him.
So did Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad.
And Spain’s El Pais.
Belgium’s De Standaard published a close-up image of Sotloff’s face from the video.
The Guardian chose a similar photo.
Instead of Sotloff, Belgium’s De Morgen put the killer on the front page. A close-up image of just the masked killer and the knife was on the front page.
Uruguay’s El Pais picked an image of the killer holding Sotloff by the shirt.
Taiwan’s United Evening News used a close-up image of Sotloff and blurred out the knife in the killer’s hand. The United Evening News also included two inset images — one of Sotloff before he was kidnapped and one of the masked killer’s face.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera called for a “blackout” of the images. In a tweet, Al Jazeera said it wouldn’t use the images from the video.
We respect Steven Sotloff and won’t air images of his death, or him in a jumpsuit. We suggest all media do the same. #ISISmediaBlackout
— Al Jazeera PR (@AlJazeera) September 2, 2014