Live tweeted from Syria: Amputating the hand of a thief

I use this blog as a platform to encourage elected officials and governments to use social media while warning them of its numerous dangers.  This blog, of course, is also designed to entertain: some of the stories I write about here are absolutely hilarious.  The absolute worst thing I have ever seen as a result of a social media snafu was incredible, pyrotecnic downfall of former Congressman Anthony Weiner.  Of course, Congressman Weiner, despite his fall, is alive and well.  Things are not the same in other counties.

As noted last week by the Washington Post, an extremist group in Syria recently took to Twitter to tweet about their barbaric criminal code.  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, operating out of Maskanah, Syria, live tweeted the amputation of a man’s hand.  That man had been found guilty of theft.

The group tweeted three pictures:

  • The first showed a blindfolded man being held down, with his hand outstretched on a table.  Just to the thief’s right, a masked man holds a sword, while in the foreground, a man wearing white robes reads a statement.
  • In the second shot, the sword is about to strike the man’s hand.
  • In the third shot, the man’s hand is shown severed from the body, while the thief appears to have passed out.

The account, @reyairaq, was suspended by Twitter.

Social Media unquestionably played an extensive role in the recent “Arab Spring” revolutions that occurred in the early part of the decade – so much so that one Egyptian couple named their daughter Facebook.  This, of course, highlights the incredible power of Social Media, while the post above makes it clear that this power is a double edged sword.  ISIS, the group who apparently conducted this amputation, is so extreme that Al Qaeda disavowed them, citing their inability to end a dispute between other Al Qaeda groups.

If there is any positive from this horror, hopefully it will be an increased awareness of ISIS’ crimes against humanity and renewed calls for their elimination.

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