On Feb. 3, a shocking video hit the Internet purportedly showing kidnapped Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh burned alive by Islamic State (ISIS) extremists.
The extremely graphic 22-minute clip reveals the media savvy of this generation’s militants; they’ve come a long way from grainy videos shot in caves. What can be considered a short film includes footage of an interview with al-Kasasbeh, multiple vantage points of his execution and cutaways to other scenes, such as news broadcasts and bodies being pulled out of rubble.
The ISIS logo and that of its media house alternately appear in the top left-hand corner of the video, which boasts high resolution, ensuring that any screenshot viewers take is crisp and branded.
Since its release, the video and photos of al-Kasasbeh’s gruesome death have circulated to all corners of the Web, from news outlets to social media.
And that is exactly what ISIS wants. They have co-opted viral marketing to a sickeningly successful degree.
And that is exactly why you shouldn’t share the highly produced video or its devastating images.
Let us remember First Lieutenant al-Kasasbeh not for the orange jumpsuit he wore to his death, or the cage in which he spent his last moments, or the flames that engulfed him; let us honor him as a young husband who fought bravely for his people. May he rest in peace.
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