Facebook issued an official response to the controversy over whether or not it should ban videos depicting extreme violence, such as beheading, with a fact check post in its Newsroom.
The social network has been under fire for reversing its earlier decision to ban videos of decapitations and other types of extreme violence, facing criticism from groups that promote online child safety, and even from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
Facebook’s response post follows:
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.
As part of our effort to combat the glorification of violence on Facebook, we are strengthening the enforcement of our policies.
First, when we review content that is reported to us, we will take a more holistic look at the context surrounding a violent image or video, and will remove content that celebrates violence.
Second, we will consider whether the person posting the content is sharing it responsibly, such as accompanying the video or image with a warning and sharing it with an age-appropriate audience.
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.
Readers: Was Facebook’s response appropriate?
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