Reversing a ban on graphic content, Facebook is again allowing users
to post violent images or videos if the intent is to condemn, not
glorify, the acts depicted, the BBC reported Monday.
BBC was tipped off by a user who said that despite complaints from
other members, Facebook had refused to delete a page showing a gruesome
video clip -- reportedly recorded in Mexico -- of a masked man beheading
The social network began deleting visually graphic content n in May
after child-protection advocates complained about videos showing
decapitations. The Family Online Safety Institute
said such disturbing images "crossed a line" and could potentially
cause psychological damage among Facebook users, who can be as young as
"We will remove instances of these videos that are reported to
us while we evaluate our policy and approach to this type of content,"
Facebook said, according to a May 1 BBC report.
the company quietly returned to its previous policy sometime after
that, though exactly when is not clear. The company has stated its
members had a right to show the "world in which we live."
"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," a Facebook spokesperson said Monday in response to the
BBC report. "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."
Facebook's terms of service state:
will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or
pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or
Here's its community standards regarding graphic content:
use Facebook to share events through photos and videos. We understand
that graphic imagery is a regular component of current events, but must
balance the needs of a diverse community. Sharing any graphic content
for sadistic pleasure is prohibited.
The Facebook spokesperson told CNET the company is seeking the best way for members to control the various content they encounter.
"Since some people object to graphic video of this nature, we are
working to give people additional control over the content they see,"
the spokesperson said. "This may include warning them in advance that
the image they are about to see contains graphic content."