Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo has stated that the platform is “actively suspending” accounts which are tweeting beheading pictures, after the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stated that it had beheaded an American journalist.
An unverified video of journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped while in Syria almost two years ago, was posted on YouTube, but the four minutes, 40 second clip has now been taken down.
The video ended with the man in the video – purportedly Foley, saying that when American soldiers dropped bombs on Iraq “they signed my death certificate.”
Screenshots of the video, which was titled A Message to America, as well as other images were then posted on Twitter.
We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you https://t.co/jaYQBKVbBF
— dick costolo (@dickc) August 20, 2014
This is not the first time that graphic images have been posted on Twitter: following MH17 plane crash, images of bodies were posted to the platform almost immediately.
Tweeters have also taken to the platform to urge other users not to seek out and watch the video.
I refuse to watch the James Foley video. You should too. If you do, you should not put it in front of other's eyes. pic.twitter.com/3HpIMWS7EF — Jack Moore (@JFXM) August 20, 2014
National Security Council spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, said: "The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist."