The Right Click

Facebook reverses decision to allow beheading video on website

The Right Click

A graphic video showing a woman’s decapitation has once again been pulled from Facebook, two days after it came to light that a recent policy change allowed videos of this nature on the site.

According to the BBC, the decision to allow videos of beheadings on the site came back in July, when Facebook quietly made a policy change. The company informed staff that this content would be allowed, but the decision did not draw public attention.

Earlier this week, the BBC was contacted by readers after Facebook users complained to the social network giant about a clip of a woman being beheaded by a man in a mask, uploaded on October 16. They told the BBC that Facebook was refusing to take it down.

“The video shows a woman having her head cut off by a man in a mask,” the user told BBC.

“She is alive when this happens. Looking at the comments a load of people have reported this to Facebook and had the same reply.”

[ More Right Click: Hacker exposes Facebook security flaw on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall ]

Since the incident, Facebook has changed its policy, issuing a press release to inform the public of the change this time:

“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.

“Going forward, we ask that people who share graphic content for the purpose of condemning it do so in a responsible manner, carefully selecting their audience and warning them about the nature of the content so they can make an informed choice about it.”

Similar videos are still available on the site, according to the BBC, but now have a graphic content warning.

The decision comes shortly after Facebook announced it was considering dropping the minimum age of its users. Currently, only people 13 years old and older are allowed to sign up for a Facebook account.

But the reality is, with parental permission, children of any age can sign up for a Facebook account, and many others simply lie about their year of birth to sign up anyway. That means that all that’s standing between a child and a video of someone being decapitated is a warning.

Need to know what’s hot in tech?
Follow @YRightClick on Twitter!

View Comments (81)