Facebook has involved itself in a discussion about violence and freedom of expression versus the issue of damaging content after allowing the posting of videos depicting decapitation, calling it free expression, only to later remove the same post, according to USA Today.
"Warning!" the site read to warn users of violent content. "This video contains extremely graphic content and may be upsetting."
The company initially released a statement explaining their allowance of the violent video.
"People turn to Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues important to them," the company said in a statement. "Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism, and other violence.
"When people share this type of graphic content, it is often to condemn it," the statement continued. "If it is being shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate violence, Facebook removes it."
Facebook didn't speak about any parameters they may apply to postings of violent videos to determine if it for condemnation or pleasure, such as a situation where someone shares a video posted to bring attention to human rights abuses for sadistic purposes, essentially hijacking a social movement for negative uses.
They posted information about the warnings about violent content, saying they are strengthening their policies by "making a more 'holistic look' at context surrounding violent material, and removing that which celebrates violence," and "considering whether a person posting content is sharing responsibly, such as carefully selecting audience and warning the public about the nature of the content."
A specific problem people have with violent content being allowed is that Facebook allows users as young as 13, and last week Facebook began allowing teens to share content.
After criticism from many different sectors, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, Facebook has once again removed the violent content.
"Based on these enhanced standards [whether content is being shared responsibly], we have re-examined recent reports of graphic content and have concluded that this content improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence," the company said. "For this reason, we have removed it."
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