Both YouTube and Twitter have policies that prevent users from posting graphic images of violence, with YouTube generally giving news organizations greater leeway than individual users. The problem, according to Jillian York, the Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is that the guidelines aren’t enforced equally.
“This issue I have is the inconsistency of their rules,” she told the International Business Times. “There’s been lots of graphic, violent content coming out of Syria over the past few years. YouTube tends to allow content that has educational or documentary qualities, but I think they’re treating it differently because he’s American.”
York said that she understood why the Foley video was removed, adding that it’s difficult to picture a perfect solution – especially when so many Internet users seem to have no qualms about passing graphic content on to their own followers.