Facebook is once again allowing videos of beheadings to be uploaded and shared.
While the social network had enforced a temporary ban in May following complaints the videos may cause long-term psychological damage, they now say that users should have the choice to be able to share and condemn such videos.
The initial ban came after complaints that while videos of murders were deleted, videos of a woman being beheaded by a Mexican drug cartel were allowed. In response to the complaints Facebook had said that it allowed the videos as people were sharing the video “to condemn it” saying it was similar to how TV news programs often showed “upsetting images of atrocities.”
Facebook’s official statement on why they overturned the ban:
“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events. People share videos of these events on Facebook to condemn them. If they were being celebrated, or the actions in them encouraged, our approach would be different.”
Many, including the U.K.’s prime minister, condemned Facebook’s decision:
It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.
Facebook is ALLOWING people to post decapitation/ beheading videos back on its site after its TEMPORARY ban. I am no longer using the site.
Facebook lets beheading clips return http://t.co/45NDunNReT I appreciate there should be freedom of expression but this is just abhorrent.
Many were angry that beheading videos are allowed, and some breastfeeding photos are still banned:
Weird that Facebook is allowing videos of beheading. But at least it’s not something genuinely upsetting, like breastfeeding.
Quite so. For Facebook, violent death is OK but ladies’ bits are evil. RT @eileentso: @superglaze or even breastfeeding mums + babies
Images of beheading: Acceptable. Images of breastfeeding: Unacceptable. Facebook is fucking weird.
So, lets get this right - Facebook has no trouble with users sharing #beheading videos - just #breastfeeding ones http://t.co/5w9ec215Cx #fb
Others tried to lighten the mood a bit:
Facebook to allow beheading videos in users’ timelines. Henry VIII likes this.
Pretty glad I can now share all my beheading videos on Facebook. Was starting to think it was a waste of my time.
Facebook says it’s considering adding warnings to the videos in question.
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