Facebook has backed down in a debate about graphic content after it had allowed gruesome decapitation videos to stay on the site. The move has been welcomed by prime minister David Cameron.
The decision comes after outrage earlier in the week when it was revealed that the firm was once again allowing the video to be viewed by anyone. At the time Cameron waded into the debate with a message on Twitter condemning the firm.
It's irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 22, 2013
Facebook initially placed a warning message on the content but on Tuesday afternoon US time it issued an update on its policy towards graphic content, explaining that it would take a more considered approach to such content on its site.
“First, when we review content that is reported to us, we will take a more holistic look at the context surrounding a violent image or video, and will remove content that celebrates violence,” it said.
“Second, we will consider whether the person posting the content is sharing it responsibly, such as accompanying the video or image with a warning and sharing it with an age-appropriate audience.”
Facebook said that based on these new policies the decapitation video, believed to have been filmed in Mexico, had now been removed from the site. It urged users of the site to think carefully before they post any content that could be considered graphic.
“Going forward, we ask that people who share graphic content for the purpose of condemning it do so in a responsible manner, carefully selecting their audience and warning them about the nature of the content so they can make an informed choice about it,” it added.
The change in policy was welcomed by David Cameron in another message on Twitter:
I'm pleased Facebook has changed its approach on beheading videos. The test is now to ensure their policy is robust in protecting children.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 23, 2013
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