Here’s why platforms like YouTube shouldn’t remove ISIS videos


Almost every week, it seems, we have a new case in which social platforms and media outlets — which are increasingly becoming the same thing, in many ways — are faced with a difficult choice: Should they post that video of someone being beheaded, or some other horrible thing? Or should they save users and viewers from seeing it by never publishing it, or taking it down if it’s posted? In the most recent case, YouTube chose to remove a video of a Jordanian pilot being set on fire by ISIS, while Fox News published it.

The argument in favor of not publishing such videos — or taking them down when they are posted — is fairly obvious: Namely, that it’s horrific, and many people will be offended by seeing it, especially the family and friends of the victim. Also, these videos are essentially recruiting tools for ISIS…

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