Facebook removes beheading video, updates violent images standards

Reuters

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc removed a video of a woman being beheaded from its website onTuesday and said it would use a broader set of criteria todetermine when gory videos are permitted on the site.

The move came a day after a public outcry over news reportsthat Facebook, the world's No. 1 social network with 1.15billion members, had lifted a temporary ban on images of graphicviolence.

Facebook said on Monday that gory videos, such as a video ofa masked man beheading a woman in Mexico, are permitted on itssite so long as the content is posted in a manner intended forits users to "condemn" the acts rather than celebrate them.

But Facebook said on Tuesday that it had decided to"strengthen" its enforcement of the policy.

"When we review content that is reported to us, we will takea more holistic look at the context surrounding a violent imageor video," Facebook said in a statement.

"Second, we will consider whether the person posting thecontent is sharing it responsibly, such as accompanying thevideo or image with a warning and sharing it with anage-appropriate audience," Facebook said.

The change underscores a challenge for Facebook as it seeksto position itself as the go-to online destination where peopleshare up-to-the-minute images and discuss breaking news events.

While Facebook polices its site to remove pornography, hatespeech and other forbidden content, the company must also make ajudgment about when certain grizzly images, such as video of aterrorist attack, are in the public interest versus being sharedfor "sadistic pleasure."

Facebook acknowledged on Tuesday that its previous approach,which permitted the video of the woman's killing in Mexico toremain on its site, was flawed.

"Based on these enhanced standards, we have re-examinedrecent reports of graphic content and have concluded that thiscontent improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence. Forthis reason, we have removed it," the company said.

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