Log in to Facebook … to a beheading?


In May, Facebook banned the posting of graphic content to address the problem of videos of beheadings.  However, Facebook is now easing this ban, allowing certain content, such as decapitations, to be posted as long as the goal is to raise awareness of the horror, not to promote violence.

When I first read this, I was taken aback because I had skimmed over the part about raising awareness. That made Facebook’s decision easier to understand … for a moment, until I thought about how futile these videos would actually be at raising awareness.

Facebook is a social media website. It is a place for people to connect with each other.  Facebook has never had such a serious nature, or any serious nature at all, so users are not expecting bloody, gruesome videos.  Users’ first thoughts would not be that the videos are trying to fight violence, because that doesn’t make much sense.  Instead, most sane users would be horrified and disturbed.

I believe that Facebook is using this “raising awareness” standpoint to save face in the business and legal worlds.

I don’t understand why Facebook suddenly decided that it was okay to allow videos of people chopping heads off of others. Nor do I understand why this violence is acceptable, yet videos depicting nudity, drug use, and pornography — which are at least milder than decapitations – remain banned.  I’m not sure what Facebook is hoping to get out of lifting the violent video ban, but the company’s explanation just doesn’t add up.

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