Firms halt spread of grisly videos

Paris - Tech companies drafted plans to scrub the web after a grisly video showing the beheading of an American journalist by Islamic State militants - and implemented them this week after a second killing, a Silicon Valley insider said on Wednesday.

Video showing the death of James Foley last month ricocheted through social networks in what many feared was a propaganda coup for the extremists. The tech official said a YouTube video on Tuesday showing another beheading - of American journalist Steven Sotloff - was deleted, slowing the spread of posts linking to it. According to terms of service for many social media companies, the posting of threats and gratuitously violent content is cause for suspension.

The official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because companies are grappling with increasing pressure to impose more censorship on the web, would not say whether the developments came at the request of governments or ordinary users.

But after Foley's death, "platforms were better prepared for it this time around," the official said, adding that tech companies are trying to force out the Islamic State group "platform by platform".

Accounts on YouTube, Twitter and other sites were closed within hours of the video's release.

An official with another major technology company said his organisation worked to close multiple accounts quickly after the Sotloff video appeared. That official spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reasons.

Even on Diaspora, a decentralised social network that does not exert centralised control over content, Islamic State militants are now often greeted with banners saying they are unwelcome. But they will find newly sophisticated ways to get a message out, according to Jamie Bartlett of the Demos think tank.

- AP
Bennie Boekwurm 2014-09-03 11:31:59 PM
Why? To censor us from the truth?
Bennie Boekwurm 2014-09-03 11:34:45 PM
Why are nothing being done with videos of public Saudi stonings and executions, and chainsaw beheadings by mexican gangs? Just because its ISIS it should be censored...
Alan Yates 2014-09-04 06:06:25 AM
Denialist Obama and Cameron and western elites behaving just like Chamberlain. Nazism had to be defeated not appeased. Islamism must be defeated. Koranic induced "sura 9" Jihad and Sharia must be criminalized and banned and boycotted, globally. Like in France there must be laws against wearing face masks in public, for example. Also -stop importing oil from middle east. It just finances Moslem terrorists globally.
Mauritz Venter 2014-09-04 06:38:56 AM
'They' want us to learn how to live with the dragon and not to slay it...
Makhulu Zulu 2014-09-04 06:44:58 AM
IS, Israel and USA are terrorist cells. They just use different tactics.
Adie Masana 2014-09-04 06:47:27 AM
The Isis bastards must be defeated not Islam. These guys are cruel. Why is the world leaving them to kill innocent people. They have no heart and the are not human
Joel Sabela 2014-09-04 07:06:02 AM
Sons of sathan
Deon Pretorius 2014-09-04 08:04:25 AM
Why would any sane person want to watch another persons head been cut of?
Deon Pretorius 2014-09-04 08:06:56 AM
A hundred years ago they were all living in the desert humping their camels, and in less time they will be back there doing the same thing. The oil wont last forever.