Facebook Lifts Ban On Gruesome Decapitation Videos

Facebook now allows the posting of gruesome decapitation videos popular especially among militant groups in the Middle East, North Africa, and South America,
the BBC reports.
The social media company had banned such violent material earlier this year in May, citing concerns about spreading viral psychological damage among its users.

BBC noted the change in policy, however, after looking into why Facebook had allowed a video of a beheading in Mexico to remain on the site. The new policy allows for these gruesome videos as long as they do not celebrate the action.

Facebook has an age limit of 13, but that age limit is easily circumvented. Furthermore, though most teens probably aren’t cruising for gore on Facebook, the content is completely public and searchable.

Social media networks have battled with the proliferation of extremist fan pages and group accounts in the last few years.

The Somali organisation Al Shebab had its Twitter account cancelled for the third time following the Kenyan mall attack in Nairobi.

The battle has been a dicey one, as freedom of speech groups worry that any curtailing of free speech online could lead to further corporate or government restrictions on otherwise innocuous institutions.

Facebook and social media in general tend to be very self-correcting,” Jillian York, director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil-liberties group in San Francisco, told the Washington Times in April.

“A lot of times you see people who oppose the hate speech taking over the (hate) groups. That tends to be more effective than taking the page down.”

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