Facebook graphic video u-turn

David Cameron has said he is "pleased" Facebook has changed its approach to hosting graphic videos after the site removed a video that showed a woman being beheaded.

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PM 'pleased' after Facebook removes beheading video

Prime Minister David Cameron said he is "pleased" Facebook has changed its approach after the site removed a video that showed a woman being beheaded.

Mr Cameron wrote on Twitter:

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I'm pleased Facebook has changed its approach on beheading videos. The test is now to ensure their policy is robust in protecting children.

Facebook has clarified that it will remove content that "glorifies" violence and said it will take a more "holistic look" at the context surrounding a violent image or video.

Read: Facebook removes beheading video

Facebook removes beheading video after rules change

Facebook has removed a video of a woman being beheaded from its website and clarified its rules on users posting violent content.

Prime Minister David Cameron branded the site "irresponsible" yesterday after it lifted a ban on posting violent videos, including those that show beheading.

File photo of a general view of the Facebook home page on a laptop screen.
Facebook said violent content that 'glorifies' violence will be removed from the site. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Last night, Facebook said graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses and terrorist acts, are allowed on the website as they are there to raise awareness.

"If it is being shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate violence, Facebook removes it," the company said in a statement.

Facebook said it will "strengthen" its enforcement of the policy and take a more "holistic look" at the context surrounding a violent image or video.

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Facebook video beheading decision 'part of wider debate'

Sean Gallagher, of free speech pressure group Index on Censorship, has said Facebook's decision to lift a ban on videos showing beheadings and other violence is "part of a much wider debate" on moderating hosted content.

"With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook's decisions about what can and can't be shown have a huge impact on global freedom of expression.

"Films about beheadings may be deeply upsetting and offensive but they do expose the reality of violent acts that are taking place in the world today.

"When trying to draw a line about what should or shouldn't be allowed, it's important to look at context, not just content", Mr Gallaher added.

'It's down to us whether we look or not'

Responding to a question on the ITV News Facebook page, some users sided with Facebook and suggested it was important that we had the chance to see the "shocking things" that happen around the world:

  • Karen Groombridge: Whether we like it or not shocking things happen in this world and No government has the right to hide it. It's down to us as individuals whether We look or not.

But the majority of responses were again in agreement with David Cameron:

  • Jan Scott: On this one I agree with him! Why would anyone in their right mind want to watch someone being beheaded ? It's shocking the things you see on fb that just pop up as it is. I get sick of reporting these terrible images!
  • Martin Phillp: So Facebook is more than happy to show beheadings, yet as someone shows the tiniest bit of what is considered sexual flesh and an adult, Facebook will stop the account.

'You don't need to see it to condemn it'

The majority of tweets in response to a question about violent videos on Facebook appeared to agree with David Cameron.

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@itvnews Simply Yes. The age limit for Facebook is 13, many younger use it. Do we really want kids exposed to this? #Chucky

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@itvnews disgusting. Common sense tells u it's not right to post stuff like that on public sites U Dnt need to c it to condemn it. Wise up!

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@itvnews Of course they should ban it. There are young people using Facebook. They don't want to see people getting their heads cut off!

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Online safety expert wants Facebook video 'rethink'

Stephen Balkam, who works for the Family Online Safety Institute and is a member of the Facebook safety advisory board, urged the company to rethink the change in its policy.

He told Sky News:

They have some very strict rules about nudity, about sex and even about violence too.

I just think in this case they really need to rethink how they use and how they adopt their own policies.

– Stephen Balkam

PM: Facebook 'irresponsible' to allow violent videos

David Cameron has condemned Facebook's decision to lift a ban on videos showing beheadings and other violence.

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It's irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.

Gory photos and videos are now permitted on the site so long as the content is posted in a manner intended for its users to "condemn" the acts rather than celebrate them.

"Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited," Facebook insisted.

Facebook lifts ban on videos showing beheadings

Some users had previously expressed offence at videos of beheadings and other violence. Credit: PA

Facebook has resumed allowing decapitation videos to be posted on its website, lifting a temporary ban it had placed earlier this year on content featuring graphic violence.

Gory photos and videos are now permitted on the site so long as the content is posted in a manner intended for its users to "condemn" the acts rather than celebrate them.

"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," the company said in a statement.

"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," the statement said.

"Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited," it added.