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#ISISMediaBlackout goes viral following purported execution of James Foley

The release of a video depicting the purported beheading of American photojournalist James Foley has prompted a backlash against propaganda released by militants with the Islamic State, the group that claimed to have executed him.

The hashtag #ISISMediaBlackout began trending shortly after the video’s release on Tuesday, as Twitter users urged others not to share the video or any other graphic images released by the militant group. The hashtag references one of the group’s names, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and was created shortly after the video was released. It appears to have originated with a woman using the Twitter handle @LibyaLiberty.

“Amputate their reach,” she said in one tweet. “Pour water on their flame.”

The video of Foley’s purported killing was initially posted on YouTube, but taken down shortly afterward. Still images from the video were removed from Twitter.

The Islamic State laid blame for Foley’s apparent execution on President Obama’s recent decision to launch airstrikes in Iraq, and said a second journalist, Steven Sotloff, who was also shown in the video, would be killed if the strikes did not cease.

Some individuals, including Al Jazeera America’s Wajahat Ali, said sharing the images of Foley’s apparent death on social media played into the militant group’s hands.

Others wondered if the hashtag was wise. Other radical groups use Twitter and do not get the same reaction, one noted:

Another user suggested journalists “have a responsibility” to report murder:

Related on Checkpoint:
Steven Sotloff, journalist held captive by the Islamic State, went missing in Syria

U.S. military announces 14 airstrikes in Iraq following James Foley execution

Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.



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