ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The horrific execution of American journalist James Foley has resulted in a collective outcry from appalled people around the world.
But it's also inspired a debate: When is there too much information? And when are the images too graphic to view?
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo weighed in on the debate, explaining on Twitter Wednesday morning the social media outlet would be "actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery."
And other Twitter users echoed that call, with some, including @LibyaLiberty, even starting the hashtag: #ISISMEDIABLACKOUT.
"I think it's still a really big question about how do these social media companies deal with these issues," said Dr. Wendy Wyatt, Chair of the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of St. Thomas.
Once an organization has made its decision, Wyatt says it's important they explain their reasoning with complete transparency.
"I think it's important for any organization, when it sort of interferes with conversations in the public sphere, to have a good reason and to share that reason for doing so," she said.
Beyond the decisions by social media outlets, there's no question the video will remain only a "click away" on the vast Internet. For that reason, Wyatt urges users to carefully consider, "what does it mean to engage with an image like this?"
"Am I bearing witness to something I need to understand better? That I need to see to understand? Is it going to help me build compassion and sympathy? Or is it voyeuristic? Is it going to lead me to become more desensitized to these images?" she said.
Other factors to consider: what was the motivation of the person taking and sharing the video? And what would the victim's family prefer? And will the video be viewed within a proper context, for example, will it be considered along with Foley's life and career up until the images were recorded.
"There's a moral decision in this for everyone. The question is 'why? Why is this important,'" she asked.