"SAVAGES!" the cover shouted, over an image of Foley with the executioner's knife at his throat.
Condemnation of the cover was swift, accusing the Post of falling for the Islamic State's propaganda efforts and "doing the work for them."
Pretty sure ISIS could not be happier with the New York Post's front page today.— AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) August 20, 2014
@nypost this cover is by far your worst, most insensitive and tasteless. Whomever is responsible for this is out of touch and irresponsible— andrew paskoff (@apaskoff) August 20, 2014
I guess the New York Post editors don't have to explain why they decided to run the image they did on their front page today.— Anup Kaphle (@AnupKaphle) August 20, 2014
'Savages' says @nypost headline today. Also very apt way to describe the paper itself.— Mikko Takkunen (@photojournalism) August 20, 2014
Pls everyone flag the awful media of the alleged beheading of American tweeted by> @nypost— Linda (@SE25A) August 20, 2014
The criticism included many who wondered whether Twitter would act to suspend the Post, as it had actively gone after other accounts for sharing the image.
We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery. Thank you https://t.co/jaYQBKVbBF— dick costolo (@dickc) August 20, 2014
Twitter told Business Insider it would not suspend the Post's account, nor that of the New York Daily News, which put a similar image on its cover.
"The Post's tweet contains this warning for some users, depending on their media settings," Twitter said.
But the best response was less a condemnation, and more a gentle nudge at a better cover idea.
The hashtag #ISISMediablackout was tweeted more than 9,000 times on Tuesday as word of Foley's death began to spread.
The trend appeared to originate with one woman with the handle @LibyaLiberty, as a reminder that organizations like the Islamic State rely on a sophisticated online media strategy to spread their message.
"You know what I think? And I know how crazy this sounds,but we need an #ISISmediaBlackout. Amputate their reach. Pour water on their flame," she tweeted. "From here on out, I won't share any photo or video of violence intentionally recorded & released by ISIS for propaganda."
you know what I think? And I know how crazy this sounds,but we need an #ISISmediaBlackout. Amputate their reach. Pour water on their flame.— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) August 19, 2014
From here on out, I won't share any photo or video of violence intentionally recorded & released by ISIS for propaganda. #ISISmediaBlackout— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) August 19, 2014