22nd October 2013
The decision by Facebook to re-allow users to post videos of beheadings has become the subject of a high profile debate.
Facebook's decision yesterday to lift a temporary ban on such violent content was based on the fact that the site is used to share information about world events such as acts of terrorism, it says. The site argues that users should be free to view the videos – then condemn the content, adding that if would be a different matter if the actions in the footage were either encouraged of celebrated.
The decision has received widespread condemnation from online safety groups and advertisers. In a tweet earlier today, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: "It's irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents."
In response to the global criticism of its actions – including from its own advisors – Facebook has now begun to add a warning message to videos showing extreme acts of violence, including decapitations. It states: "Warning! This video contains extremely graphic content and may be upsetting."