Facebook Removes Graphic Beheading Video

Reversal from earlier decision to keep video online

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Facebook has removed a video of a masked man beheading a woman in Mexico following public outcry.

The decision is a reversal from earlier in the week, when Facebook condemned the video but defended keeping the video on the site because the site “has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events.”

On Tuesday, the company said that it had now “concluded that this content improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence. For this reason, we have removed it,” the Guardian reports.

“As part of our effort to combat the glorification of violence on Facebook, we are strengthening the enforcement of our policies,” Facebook said.

Facebook’s initial decision to keep the video online attracted criticism from many corners. British Prime Minister David Cameron stepped into the debate on Tuesday when he wrote on Twitter: “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worries parents.”

Some freedom of speech groups said the issue was part of a wider debate about moderating content. The U.K.-based group Index on Censorship said that “with over a billion users worldwide, Facebook’s decisions about what can and can’t be shown have a huge impact on global freedom of expression.”

[The Guardian]