Which images can be shown?

There is a broad consensus that the cruel propaganda images of the is should not be spread, but what about videos of the airstrikes??

The "islamic state" has a well-functioning propaganda department that distributes videos, pictures and colorful brochures over the internet. As is usual with propaganda, only the positive aspects are shown "positive" pages, that is, the successes and, in the case of is, exemplary atrocities: beheadings, stonings, executions, corpses of opponents. Its own suicide bombers are celebrated as martyrs, their mangled corpses are not seen. If pictures of killed is fighters are shown, then in such a way that they appear as if they had joyfully departed from life.

When the videos of mass executions and beheadings of western hostages were distributed, there was once again a discussion about whether media should publish them – or which excerpts – at all. This is apparently not a problem in countries like iraq, where the atrocities are committed. Iraqi news, a news site not affiliated with is, published the videos unabridged and also relentlessly illustrated the articles with bloody stills.

The "is" itself, however, has already realized that with the gory details of beheadings, for example, it can spread fear and terror and force countries into war, but that it could also scare off potential recruits. Thus, as has also been widely noted, the act of beheading itself was not shown, but after a cut when the sword was applied to the throat "only" the cut off bleeding head on the corpse.

The german media generally did not want to do without pictures altogether. The videos were reported, some with details, but only stills of the often unrecognizable hostage with her executioner were shown. Obviously, this could be expected from the readers or viewers, while one sees oneself as ethically justified, if only the worst pictures are not shown. When the discussion arose in august because of the first beheading video, i accused the attitude of hypocrisy (showing images of the beheading of the u.S. Journalist?):

It should be clear that even if you do not distribute images or moving images and do not put a link to the video, you still support the propaganda. It may be that the pictures are more disturbing, but the propaganda of the deed through attacks developed by the anarchists already lived from the fact that the deeds were reported, it was not yet a propaganda of the picture. Apparently, media executives ame that they will be less culpable if they only spread in writing or verbally the message produced by the islamists. It would be much more effective if they did not do it at all. In this way, they create attention for the islamists, strengthen their importance and lead to the fact that interested people search for the video on their own. Possibly, not showing it also prevents a deterrent effect that could come from killing defenseless people.

By chance i just came across a video of the british ministry of defense, which was published by the british newspaper telegraph "advertised" was: "watch: british military strikes islamic state armed vehicle." great britain had joined the airstrikes of the us-led coalition in iraq. The video shows a british fighter jet targeting and then destroying a vehicle at a site northwest of baghdad, the defense department writes. The vehicle is "allegedly", according to the telegraph, an armed is vehicle has been. At the ministry of defense it is stated that "armed is pickup truck".

We know such videos. They are published by the militaries, mainly to show that they act purposefully and avoid collateral damage. Significantly, there is no mention of human casualties. This is also noticeable in the pentagon reports on the air strikes in syria and iraq. There is always only talk of vehicles, positions, buildings… People do not seem to exist.

A clean warfare is shown, which apparently can be shown to the audience without ethical concerns, since only something is destroyed. As a rule, the american, israeli and british militaries only show videos that do not show people. This was different a few years ago and also serves the propaganda of the clean warfare, where people are killed but do not see it, because only the corresponding videos are published.

One can still remember the horror of the video collateral damage published by wikileaks, which is why since then people try hard to show the clean war, if anything is shown at all. The pentagon, for example, is very cautious.

But back to the british video and the question of whether media should publish such videos or not. Should draw attention to them? There was an appeal by journalists and internet users, also promoted with the hashtag #isismediablackout, to stop distributing propaganda images of is altogether.

With regard to the is, heribert prantl of the sz explained that one should "not to make itself the useful idiot of terrorist criminals" and therefore must not show the images of the atrocities: "the terrorists’ calculation of spreading fear, terror and horror with shock images must not be allowed to succeed." but the question is also whether one should fall for the military’s propaganda of clean war and spread such images of cool cruelty.

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