Facebook to Remove Decapitation Videos It Initially Defended

The site said it would reevaluate the policy that didn't ban the videos

By on May 2nd, 2013 06:39 GMT

Facebook is rather permissive with the content it allows on the site. As long there are no fleshy man or lady parts, no Nazi propaganda, and things of similar nature, Facebook doesn't care. Well, except for threats of violence, hate speech, and so on.

Still, it seems that Facebook does draw a line at graphic violence video, even if that line shifts from one day to the other.

One video depicting in rather gruesome detail the decapitation of one woman, believed to be in Mexico, at the hands of a masked man, popped up on the site recently. Another video shows two men being decapitated after they admit to being drug smugglers.

Facebook's initial reaction was to leave the videos be; it said that, as long as the videos and the people sharing them don't promote or glorify violence, they don't violate Facebook's Community Standards.

The site believed people have a right to depict the "world in which we live." But Facebook has had a change of heart after users, rights groups, and even one member of Facebook's own safety advisory board criticized the stance.

Facebook has now said that the videos and others like it would be removed, and that the site is now re-evaluating its policy regarding content like this.

While Facebook initially supported the videos, comparing them to something you might see on the news, critics believed they crossed a line and that they could be very disturbing especially to younger users.

The videos in question seem to be part of an escalating drug war in Mexico where people have started creating vigilante groups and going after the narcos that control large parts of the country and who themselves are becoming increasingly violent. This while corrupt or powerless authorities do nothing to stop or at least control the violence.

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