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Facebook Decapitation Video: Why Was The Graphic Video Removed? [NSFW]

By Tyler Augustine Davis on May 2, 2013 12:18 PM EDT 0

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A Facebook logo is attached to the windows of the NBC store inside of Rockefeller Center in New York (Photo: Reuters)

A Facebook decapitation video has been pulled from the social-networking juggernaut after complaints from the community proceeded, putting the site in a critical dilemma.

Up until Wednesday night, Facebook had no problem with videos involving corporeal beheadings, but now the company has succumbed to the pressure of the public and decided to rule against that and will delete videos of people being decapitated-- ones that have become prevalent among the site as of late.

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Two videos surfaced on the platform last week, both portraying detestable decapitations that purportedly emerged from Mexico. The first video was of two victims who admit to being drug smugglers, only to be assaulted with a chainsaw and knife on camera moments later. And the second one, a little shorter, showed a woman [NSFW] being beheaded by a mysterious masked man.

According to the BBC, the news came a little less than two hours after the news outlet had exposed a member of Facebook's own safety advisory board for criticizing their own stance.

"We will remove instances of these videos that are reported to us while we evaluate our policy and approach to this type of content," a spokesman for the company said.

The US's Family Online Safety Institute (Fosi) claimed that the malevolent nature of the content had "crossed a line."

Stephen Balkam, Fosi's chief executive, said that, "Personally and professionally I feel that Facebook has got this call wrong."

"Where it gets grey is: what is in the public interest? Is it in the public interest to know what is going on with the drug lords in Mexico?" asked Mr Balkam.

The move for withdrawal was pushed forward after it was stumbled upon by Ryan L., a university student at Belfast. He reached out to the BBC after one of the clips pervaded his friends' news feeds and flagged it inappropriate immediately. That in turn lead to a response that denied any wrongdoing on the site's part.

Charities in the UK were vocal about the issue as well, asking them to reconsider their stance for the material could pose a risk to long-term psychological damage.

This notion was additionally backed by Dr. Arthur Cassidy, a former psychologist who runs a branch of the suicide prevention charity Yellow Ribbon.

Facebook has always been an open area for its users to engage in and express themselves freely. Prior to this ban, the social network had refused to censor sdthese types of clips, claiming that people had a right to depict the "world in which we live."

With that, the social network also has a Community Standards section of their site, outlining numerous policies to meet the community's needs. Under the Graphic Content section, it says, "People use Facebook to share events through photos and videos. We understand that graphic imagery is a regular component of current events, but must balance the needs of a diverse community. Sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited," and the company felt that at the time of, the standard had not been violated.

In reference to the aforementioned video of the woman being beheaded, Facebook issued the following statement to the BBC: "People are sharing this video on Facebook to condemn it. Just as TV news programs often show upsetting images of atrocities, people can share upsetting videos on Facebook to raise awareness of actions or causes."

In the wake of all this, an inevitable petition, which, at the time of writing, has garnered 589 signatures, has been flushing through the Internet. The purpose of the petition, as it states, is not to take down the organization itself, but more so to "protect its users" from viewing explicit material.

Additionally, John Carr, who sits on the executive board of the British government's Council on Child Internet Safety, has also denounced Facebook's policy, claiming that the social-network site must have "taken leave of their senses."

"I hate to think how an unsuspecting youngster might react if they saw it through their news feed or in any other way," he added.

This news comes immediately after Facebook reported their first-quarter earnings Wednesday, with a 38 percent increase in year-over-year revenue of $1.46 billion.

Follow @TylerAuggieD

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