Facebook bans, allows, and then re-bans graphic beheading video.
Facebook has been under scrutiny this past week regarding their policies on posting violent/graphic/gory videos. The social media giant has been struggling with their video policies following the uproar caused by the video of a masked man beheading a woman in Mexico.
Around May, the social network introduced a temporary ban on any clips that could potentially cause long-term psychological damage. Facebook later lifted the ban citing that “While this video is shocking, our approach is designed to preserve people’s rights to describe, depict and comment on the world in which we live.” (Source)
Earlier this week, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out on Facebook’s content policies. He tweeted, “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.” Facebook then changed their approach and the new policy states, “videos depicting violence must carry a warning and can only be shared with an adult audience, otherwise they will be removed by moderators.” (Source)
Despite all of the controversy surrounding the posting of graphic content, Facebook still maintains that graphic content is in fact acceptable in certain situations. They explained their policy changes:
“People turn to Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues important to them.”
“Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism, and other violence.”
“When people share this type of graphic content, it is often to condemn it. If it is being shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate violence, Facebook removes it.”
Specifically discussing the beheading of the woman in Mexico, the company states, “Based on these enhanced standards, we have re-examined recent reports of graphic content and have concluded that this content improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence. For this reason, we have removed it.” (Source)
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Facebook Content Policies Under Scrutiny