The news of the execution of photojournalist James Foley was shocking in the extreme.
To learn that someone had tweeted links to the horrific footage of his death was breathtakingly appalling.
How could anyone do that?
And how could anyone be so obsessed with being allowed to say just what they like – whenever they feel like it – that they take to the web and criticise Twitter for removing all links to these gruesome images?
Yet James Ball has done just that in the Guardian.
Claiming that Twitter – once lauded as “the free speech wing of the free speech party” – has gone too far, he berates it for making an editorial decision that’s out of line with its role as “a platform” with no curatorial powers over its users’ messages and thus its content.
If no one exercises any control over what appears on Twitter, Facebook, Google or any other “free speech” platform, who knows what we could see next.
In any event, the tweeting of these grotesque images has done nothing for any sensitive being. All is has done is fuel the publicity surrounding the evil acts perpetrated by the Islamic State’s jihadists.
Which is, no doubt, what they wanted.
But is it what the rest of the world wants, or can cope with?
I don’t think so.