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On social media, journalists are rewarded for playing the terrorists’ game

Sensationalist headlines and graphic tweets receive the most clicks. But are they appropriate when covering tragedy, or do they play into terrorists' hands?

By Joris Luyendijk  

Tributes to the victims of the Manchester attack in St Ann's Square, Manchester ©Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

As the west comes to terms with what must be the cruelest terrorist attack in recent memory—specifically targeting children and teenage girls—we need to face up to a set of painful truths and dilemmas surrounding terrorism in the age of mass digital and social media.

Let us begin with Islamic State. This is an organisation with a highly professional media department putting out not only easy-to-share videos and messages, and a magazine. It is…

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