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Facebook Lets Beheading Clips Return To Its Site 277

Posted by Soulskill
from the heads-will-roll-for-this dept.
another random user sends this quote from the BBC: "Facebook is allowing videos showing people being decapitated to be posted and shared on its site once again. The social network had placed a temporary ban on the material in May following complaints that the clips could cause long-term psychological damage. The U.S. firm now believes its users should be free to watch and condemn, but not celebrate, such videos. One suicide prevention charity criticized the move. 'It only takes seconds of exposure to such graphic material to leave a permanent trace — particularly in a young person's mind,' said Dr. Arthur Cassidy, a former psychologist who runs a branch of the Yellow Ribbon Program in Northern Ireland. 'The more graphic and colorful the material is, the more psychologically destructive it becomes.' Decapitation videos are available elsewhere on the net — including on Google's YouTube — but critics have raised concern that Facebook's news feeds and other sharing functions mean it is particularly adept at spreading such material."
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Facebook Lets Beheading Clips Return To Its Site

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  • No boobies though. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:05PM (#45196541)

    Thank God, because that would be obscene!

    • by couchslug (175151) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:25PM (#45196709)

      I can't wait for easy, lifelike CGI so we can post Wholesome Biblical Anecdotes to Facebook.

      Let's see how parents try to censor these:

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/atrocity.html [infidels.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:29PM (#45196737)

      "Suck a boob, you're an X. Cut it off, you're an R" -- Jack Nicholson on US-Movie-Ratings...

      • Good point. (redundant post to work around mis-moderation error)

      • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:18AM (#45197883)

        So far, this post is the only source for this quote. here [snopes.com] is a great place to start for when you want to use it again, correctly.

        Your version loses the essential Jack, but of course the original is not available.

        "If you suck on a tit, the movie gets an X rating," he once told an interviewer.

        "If you hack the tit off with an axe it will be PG."

        I prefer :

        "Shoot, shoot, bang, bang, kill, kill, is fine. But show seven sets of genitals, everyone go crazy!" -Francesca Fiore

    • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:33PM (#45196777)

      It is ironic as a pair of tits, hell a dude ramming another guy/girl up the ass like its the end of the world is FAR less traumatizing than a decapitation video. If someone said you child has to watch 10 hours of porn or one brutal decapitation video id let the kid watch the porn.

      • There are some images you can't un-see aren't there. The one and only time I ever watched one of these was back in the 1990's when I was at University. It was a movie of a Russian soldier having his throat cut by some Islamist lunatics. I won't say I was traumatised by it; only that seeing one is enough. From that clip I learned all I would ever need to know about both the ability of people to suffer and their ability to inflict suffering on others. I can honestly say I haven't looked at clip like that
    • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:35PM (#45196793) Homepage
      Boobies, dicks, and drawings of imaginary naked people will still get deleted, and the posters put in detention. Photographs that depict actual violent murders are OK, though?
    • Apocalypse Now: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hartree (191324) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:48PM (#45196871)

      Colonel Kurtz: "We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene."

      Human psychology is all kinds of weird.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        This actually makes perfect sense. We want soldiers to stick to our rules, no matter how arbitrary or non-nonsensical they seem at the time. Enforcing discipline, even when it's silly, is important because it gives us confidence that they will only drop fire on the people we order them to and stop as soon as we order them to.

        It doesn't actually work very well, but there is at least a coherent thought behind it.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Thank God, because that would be obscene!

      Its the ideal implementation of Sharia law; women must be covered but plenty of enlightening clips of Kaffirs being brutally murdered.

    • by Zorpheus (857617)
      They even do the same in Europe. This is so absurd.
    • by martin-boundary (547041) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @05:53AM (#45198677)
      I don't know about you, but I'd rather see Saddam being beheaded, than seeing Saddam's boobies :/
  • . . . for a buck. Can't wait to see (or not see) what's next.
  • by rueger (210566) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:05PM (#45196547) Homepage
    Does Facebook still ban breastfeeding pictures? Just wondering.....

    Yup.

    FB page Bitchin' Parents is the latest to be targeted by FB censors for sharing their members breastfeeding images. As a result they have been asking members to share their BF images here instead. Incredibly sad this is still an issue on FB. http://www.facebook.com/ParentsUncut [facebook.com]

  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:06PM (#45196551)

    Thank god there won't be any breastfeeding moms to corrupt the mind when one is looking for snuff pictures.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:09PM (#45196593)

    If I walk into just about any decent sized store or public building (large enough to have security) and start shouting political slogans, I'll be escorted out of the building. Facebook and Google own their premises and can and should enforce whatever policies they think is appropriate, above and beyond what the law requires.

    It's common sense that videos glorifying machete violence against humans should be banned. If that doesn't occur to Zuckerberg and Page immediately, they are thinking way too hard.

    • More than just machetes... I've seen them with machetes, sure, but plain knives and even once with a chainsaw. Apparently part of the machismo code for the Mexican drug gangs is that you don't react while you're being beheaded.
  • would anyone post that, or watch it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      The posting is for war propaganda. You have the US backed freedom fighters showing what they do in liberated areas.
      You have other groups showing what happens when the US backed freedom fighters take an area over and start cleaning up.
      It also helps the sockpuppets offer a why the Anglosphere has to stay in parts of the world diatribe.
      Basically a lot of CIA backed NGO's and freedom fighters offering both sides of their fav dirty wars.
      Web 2.0 is seen as part of that effort. You also have the USA telco/NS
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BenJeremy (181303) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:32PM (#45196765)

        Except in this case, it is an Islamist who beheaded his wife for "cheating" on him. ...AND it managed to get 2500 likes on Facebook. Way to go , Facebook, that sure looks like condemnation.

        I guess restricting beheading videos would be considered racist.

        Meanwhile, posting pictures of a girl's head and elbows while she's in a bath, suggesting (only to the lame Facebook censors who have never seen an actual naked woman) boobies will get you banned.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:29PM (#45196739)

      Good question. The other night an old coworker I was friends with posted one of those decapitation videos. I have never seen anything more disturbing in my life. A masked thug (presumably a mexican cartel goon) cuts a womans head off ...... with a fucking box cutter or small knife. No quick chop and lights out. No this was a brutal murder in which this guy starts slicing around her neck like she was a side of beef until her head comes off. And she was fully conscious and alive when he started.

      Why did I watch it? I honestly have no idea. Morbid curiosity perhaps? At first I thought it was fake thinking why would someone post something this fucking horrible on FB. I am sorry I did. Damn video has been haunting me for the past few days. Nothing bad but I keep thinking of it every now and then, that poor woman.

      One this it does illustrate though is how the wonderful war on drugs has given those shit stains on the underwear of humanity the ability to do this almost entirely unchecked.

      • The Mexican cartels are some pretty fucked up dudes. I've seen the full gamut: axe, machete, small knife, chainsaw. I'm a long, long way from squeamish, and a couple of them even bugged me a little.
        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by LoRdTAW (99712) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:45PM (#45196859)

          Im not the squeamish type either but watching a person who has done nothing wrong cut up like a piece of meat is beyond fucked. The disturbing part isnt the blood or the head coming off but the fact that someone is so apathetic that they can butcher someone and not think twice. Especially if that someone has done no harm to anyone else. Those guys make serial killers like dahmer, bundy and gacy look like mouseketeers. At least they had a drive and motivation. These guys are doing it as if its nothing, just another day on the job.

          • I don't think I'd categorize the people executed by the cartels as innocents. If the bonds were on the other set of hands, they'd be just as happy to wield the knife.
            • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:20PM (#45197017)

              I don't think I'd categorize the people executed by the cartels as innocents. If the bonds were on the other set of hands, they'd be just as happy to wield the knife.

              Except for, you know, the journalists who are targetet, executed, and their corpses put on public display because they dared to report on these wastes of flesh.

            • by LoRdTAW (99712)

              Wait, what?

              "I don't think I'd categorize the people executed by the cartels as innocents."
              Then what would you categorize them as? Please elaborate.

              "If the bonds were on the other set of hands, they'd be just as happy to wield the knife."

              Why would they be happy to kill in such a brutal manner? What would be their motivation to do so? The cartel shit stains are getting paid to do it and go to the extremes to send a clear message. And they aren't ordinary men, these are cold, callous monsters plain and simple.

              • The people the cartels execute by beheading are members of rival gangs.
                • The people the cartels execute by beheading are members of rival gangs.

                  ..and the occasional teenaged girl... but please don't let this [urbanepeeps.com] get in the way of your generalisations...

                  (And now I've posted my first--and hopefully last--link to a snuff video. Thanks for that.)

                • by dryeo (100693)

                  Are thought to be members of rival gangs. I doubt they go worry about evidence.
                  Then there are the people who are just in the way, journalists, cops and even politicians.

          • by kwbauer (1677400)

            The really sad part is that it is just another day on the job.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Doesn't it bother you that you removed a little bit of that poor woman's dignity by watching her be murdered? She obviously never gave consent for the video to be made or published, and although we can't know for sure her feelings on the subject it seems like most people would not want to have others watch them being killed and their bodies treated like meat.

        Not having a go at you personally, just trying to make a point that seems to be missing from this debate. It might sound obvious but the people in the

        • by chihowa (366380)

          Dignity is an imaginary concept and there is nobody keeping tally of it. The people in the videos aren't "people with rights and human dignity" because they're dead. "We can't know for sure her feelings on the subject", because she doesn't have any feelings because she has been murdered. Keeping her brutal murder a secret "to preserve her dignity" only empowers her killers. Crimes like this need to be in the public eye, in all of their gory horror so that we can't sit back and ignore them. We should be more

      • by Xest (935314)

        I'm not disagreeing with you, but let's be honest, this is no more sick than half the stuff on hostel which all looks pretty real with modern effects.

        I think it's a wider societal problem. I never understood how something like Hostel or the Human Centipede are allowed to be shown and there seems to be very little uproar, but you're allowed to shoot people in CoD's almost cartoonish graphical environment and it's "OMG THIS IS GOING TO DESTROY OUR CHILDREN".

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      It's the modern goatse. Some people get perverse pleasure in forcing other people to witness terrible things against their will. Some of their victims later decide to show how tough and unfazed they are by trying to find something even worse to post.

      This isn't a free speech issue. Facebook isn't the government. They were wrong to change this policy -- it's making the site friendly to mentally ill trolls, and worse for everyone else. Even from a strictly amoral, financial viewpoint, it's a bad decision.

  • All for Cash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TranquilVoid (2444228) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:10PM (#45196607)

    From the company that removes photos of breastfeeding mothers...

    To be 'fair' I've noticed that, since they went public, they've been a lot more permissive with the soft porn pages. You probably still can't show nipples, but labia outlines through a bikini are apparently fine. It's all a short-term grab for eyeballs and advertising dollars.

    As far as I know Facebook doesn't have an 18+ category like YouTube so this move does a bit blunt.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:12PM (#45196621)

    killing innocents by drones and dumping ordinance, also scarring relatives, friends, neighbors, rescuers minds: good. posting video of beheading: bad posting video of breastfeeding, sex, or just being naked: bad

    ok, got it.

  • by pauljlucas (529435) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:13PM (#45196627) Homepage Journal
    Facebook should get out of the censorship/banning business. You should only be able to report things that are against the law, e.g., child pornography. If you don't like anything else, don't look.

    If it's on a page you've "liked," unlike the page and stop following it. If a friend posts something you don't like, either learn to accept your friend is his or her entirety, or simply unfollow or unfriend your friend. Facebook shouldn't be your nanny.

    • by foobar bazbot (3352433) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:28PM (#45196733)

      Facebook should get out of the censorship/banning business. You should only be able to report things that are against the law, e.g., child pornography.

      Devil's advocate:
      I'd rather not have Facebook telling people "We only remove illegal content; if you don't wanna see beheading videos, take it up with your Congressman.", because it's all too believable that some congressclown would take up the challenge, and push through legislation making such content illegal.

      The rest of the internet is clearly better off if prominent sites such as Facebook engage in censorship, because this reduces the number of idiots getting riled about it and therefore the odds that the government applies censorship to the whole internet. Now whether this benefit to the rest of the internet is worth the harm of having Facebook censored is ... debatable, at best, but there is a not-absurd argument there.

    • by Shavano (2541114) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:57PM (#45196925)

      1. Facebook has to obey local laws in jurisdictions where it operates, thus, no kiddy porn or [em]animal[/em] cruelty in the USA.

      2. Facebook is an advertising company. If their sponsors don't like it, it's verboten.

      3. Facebook sponsors apparently like snuff films, but not sex.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Facebook should be in the business business. If they can make more money by making the site more family friendly, at the cost of kicking out some of the dregs of 4chan, they should do so. Hell, they have an obligation to their shareholders to do so.

      Free speech means the government doesn't control what you say. It doesn't mean that everyone has to let you post pornography on their property.

      • by pauljlucas (529435) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:42PM (#45197169) Homepage Journal

        Facebook should be in the business business. If they can make more money by making the site more family friendly, at the cost of kicking out some of the dregs of 4chan, they should do so. Hell, they have an obligation to their shareholders to do so.

        They can accomplish the same thing by allowing people to self-tag posts as "adult." (Or they could even have several tags such as "violence", "sex", etc.) Minors wouldn't be able to see such content (based on what tags their parents allow them to see). At worst, adult content that's not self-tagged as such would simply be tagged as such by Facebook if/when they're alerted to it. Adults who've chosen not to filter their content will get to see everything. It's a win-win and it's certainly better than outright banning.

  • There are plenty of other places people can see these videos. I don't think it should be on Facebook.
  • by msobkow (48369)

    ...and you're good to go.

    But heaven forbid you should show a nipple!

  • by JazzXP (770338)
    That's nice that something grotesque is allowed, but me trying to post some artistic nudes (even with everything hidden) get taken down...
  • by iamhigh (1252742) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:23PM (#45196693)
    Sometimes I wonder if the lack of "graphic material" has caused a dissonance from death. As a young kid my father killed pigs so they could eat (or at least watched it). He saw them get sick and die. Several family members died unexpectedly in his youth. He had real life experience with death.

    Granted, I never did any of that as I didn't grow up on a farm, nor did I experience unexpected family deaths, and I came out pretty normal. Maybe it takes two generations. Even those in richer families 100 years ago were much more exposed to death than the average kid is now.

    One of you psych grads now working in IT [slashdot.org], does that make any sense?
    • by Jimbookis (517778)
      I agree we do lived in a death and gore sanitised world. I don't like such gore as entertainment like we get now with Dexter or any number of other splatter fantasies as it's not tempered in the west with the agony of injury and pain and the finality of death. Gimme living boobs anyday for entertainment! I remember visiting an Indian friends house and a newspaper he had showed a large front page picture of the woman who blew up Rajif Ghandi pieced back together as much as possible - head, arms and legs o
    • by beckett (27524)

      Sometimes I wonder if the lack of "graphic material" has caused a dissonance from death. As a young kid my father killed pigs so they could eat (or at least watched it). He saw them get sick and die. Several family members died unexpectedly in his youth. He had real life experience with death.

      I'd like to see something similar for war: show death instead of glamour. Instead of showing shiny war machines, guns, and bombs via "embedded reporters", report from a hospital emergency ward and show the effect and damage of the war machines, guns, and bombs. Instead of interviewing specially-selected soldiers and operators to propagandise the war effort, have an "embeded doctor" talk about the difficulties involved in blast injuries or treating pediatric bullet trauma.

      If we were forced to see the

    • by couchslug (175151)

      I'd suggest it does. My father's generation fought WWII and many of them grew up on farms which meant killing your own dinner.

      They by and large didn't turn into sadists. Death was understood not to be glamorous.

  • by Haoie (1277294) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:24PM (#45196703) Homepage

    Just imagine this posted on your timeline:

    "Hey dude, I just saw this guy get his head lopped off and I totally thought of you!"

  • I'm against all censorship. Period. Including of things that are horrific.

    It's not like you can really shield people completely from the horrific violence of the world. In some places, the kids not only see it, but they're forced to be a part of it as child soldiers. In other places, kids aren't supposed to see it, but are encouraged to enjoy a fantasy version of that horrific violence so that they'll grow up into 18-year-olds who want to join the military service and kill people. In lots of places, even th

    • by Scott Ragen (3378093) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:17PM (#45196997)
      Serious question, are you a father?

      Are you suggesting I should show my 5 year old son a beheading video? I love my son and want to protect him from harm, both physical and psychological. When he is old enough, and curious enough to view these things he will in his own time.
      Suggesting that because other children experience this is it ok for mine to see it is not a good reason. Why do you think violence transcends generations?
      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Are you suggesting I should show my 5 year old son a beheading video?

        No, I'm suggesting that your 5-year-old seeing it, probably by accident, will almost definitely not encourage him to behead someone (or himself). I'm not a father, but I've taken care of lots of kids before, and one of the things I've learned to do is not shelter kids too much, because kids who are overly sheltered have a harder time dealing with the bad stuff in life once they're 25.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:31PM (#45197089)

      In some places, the kids not only see [horrific violence], but they're forced to be a part of it as child soldiers.

      So... what? Since pedophiles exist we should force all children to watch child pornography?

      Just-World thinking contributes to mental health. Forcing people to see all the morbid shit that goes on just depresses them. There is no upside. Just spreading misery. It's not like we could fix the armies of child soldiers just by getting a bit more awareness *coughkony2012cough*.

      If you want a sure way to get kids to not want to behead themselves or anyone else, showing them a real beheading is a pretty good way of doing it.

      You have absolutely no evidence of that. In fact, you have evidence against it: the child soldiers you referenced. They witness lots of horror. It doesn't stop them from participating. If anything, it desensitizes them.

      • If you want a sure way to get kids to not want to behead themselves or anyone else, showing them a real beheading is a pretty good way of doing it.

        That's the most hilarious idea I've seen all day. Where did he get the data to support that assertion? It's probably not even anecdotal, how many kids does he know who want to go around beheading themselves? It's just a wild crazy guess. I agree with your comment.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:34PM (#45196781)

    So death porn is fine, but if you try to post a picture of a woman breastfeeding, they'll crap-can it and threaten to close your account faster than a businessman can pick a pocket.

    Must be American.

    • So death porn is fine, but if you try to post a picture of a woman breastfeeding, they'll crap-can it and threaten to close your account faster than a businessman can pick a pocket.

      What if it was a video of a breast feeding woman having her head cut off? That would be a real tizzy.

      • by hyades1 (1149581)

        You have a disgusting, perverted sense of humour...which might explain why you've got me sitting here at the computer all by myself, laughing like a frickin' idiot.

        Best line I've heard all day, with nothing even a close second.

  • by klingers48 (968406) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:35PM (#45196797)
    ...More on this below the cut.
  • Kill behind curtains.

    Think of the human rights and THE CHILDREN!

  • If they are already having destructive thoughts, what they look at isn't the problem!
  • This policy will change just as soon as someone posts a beheading video of a friend or family member of a high ranking executive of Google or Facebook. Until it's personal it's an abstract that gets clicks and makes money.

    Meanwhile they will zealously block the boob in the name of family values. America, where boobs are abhorrent and snuff videos are protected for profit. Something is very wrong here.

  • Then they should allow fully uncensored hardcore pornography.

    I mean, if it's so people can condemn it and not celebrate it.

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @12:34AM (#45197407)

    its users should be free to watch and condemn, but not celebrate, such videos

    So the opinion of the people watching the video is relevant to the content? Should I ask Facebook if making this comment is appropriate or not?

  • by GumphMaster (772693) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:28AM (#45197665)

    So, you post a link to one of these less than savoury videos... how long before the NSA tap has sucked out your details, processed it, pulled out every other post or utterance you ever made, connected you to organized crime however tenuously, and notified the FBI? Anal probe in 5 4 3 ...

  • I always wondered why there isn't an 'R'-rated or '18+' indication you can set with your video/picture, so other people can just set an indication in their setting they don't want to see it (or it's on by default), and people younger than 18 (or whatever age depending on the country they live in) shouldn't even be allowed to view the content...
  • Beheadings are murder, plain and simple. If practiced by a state, it's a cruel and unusual punishment.

    Images and videos of such an act should be banned, both from Facebook, YouTube and everywhere else for that matter. Also, the perpetrator(s) needs to be hunted down by Interpol or similar and punished for his/their crime.

    Why is there even a discussion about this?

  • Doesn't anyone find it odd that the worlds biggest social networking site is run by sociopaths?
  • You're completely and utterly wrong on this one.
    • by rsborg (111459)

      You're completely and utterly wrong on this one.

      Just remove the last two words and you're still correct.

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