Earlier this month, videos were released by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS, the Islamist rebel group explicitly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian hostages. As we are all well aware, this is not the first horrifying video that has been released. This act of ‘broadcast killing’ by ISIS has been occurring for months now. People around the world have been watching the brutality of these videos and reacting with anger, fear, and with a lot of speculations. Because of the reactions of viewers of these videos, it raises the question of whether the United States should be censoring these videos. Sure, there is violence shown on television every minute whether it be in movies or a news report and people will argue that the access to these tragic videos is no different. But the question is, should there be this much violence on television and on the Internet? Any child who knows how to read and spell has access to these horrifying events and we know children replicate what they see and hear. Tragedy and grief aside, officials see these videos as helpful in the process of understanding this terrorist group. To them, each video is effective in unveiling more information about this militant group. But the truth is, no one has been able to put their obscene actions to a halt and these tragic episodes have been occurring for months.
Many would argue censoring such events would be an invasion of their freedom stated in the U.S. Constitution. According to that long-standing document, that would be true; but doesn’t there come a point when violence such as this invades the individual’s privacy. The families of the victims of ISIS’s actions may not necessarily want their loved one’s beheading being broadcasted to the world. Sure, most of them want to raise awareness for the injustice and brutality of this militant group’s actions, but couldn’t that be accomplished with a news report excluding the actual video? Americans seem to trust their news networks on most issues, what would lead them to not trust them in this situation? Hopefully these tragedies subside, but in the unfortunate, likely event that they continue, I hope you will think twice before you view the horrifying graphic videos and consider the fact that it is someone’s life you are watching being taken away not the Hollywood construction of mortality.