Facebook has been criticized over the years for banning things people feel shouldn’t be banned, such as perfectly innocent pictures that resemble, at first glance, something obscene. While the social network may seem trigger-happy when it comes to banning certain content, they have been surprisingly lax when it comes to graphic videos of decapitation. That has finally changed, with the company saying it will pull the content.
Despite the outcry of many users and non-profit groups, Facebook had continued to allow the videos of decapitation on its network, saying that they didn’t violate the policy because they weren’t celebrating the act. According to the BBC, referring to one video of a decapitation, Facebook responded in a statement: “While this video is shocking, our approach is designed to preserve people’s rights to describe, depict and comment on the world in which we live.”
While Facebook’s official policy has allowed for them, at least one member of the social network’s Safety Advisory Board had disagreed with allowing decapitation videos to remain, and was vocal about it with the BBC. Shortly after statements he made was published, Facebook backtracked on its stance and said that it will remove all decapitation videos from the network that are reported, and that it will reevalute its policy on them.
Some charities have decried the social network’s lax policy on them, saying that graphic displays of such violence cause psychological harm and must be banned. In recent times, a video has been circulated of two Mexican cartel members being decapitated, and another of a woman being decapitated by a man wearing a mask.