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News/Current Events, News/Politics, The Liberal Complaint

Facebook’s Refusal to Shut Down Video of Woman’s Murder Disgusts Public [Graphic adult content]

Last updated 5/2/13 11:28 pm

This story is filled with depictions of death and other adult content.  Please do not continue if you are sensitive to depictions of death and mutilation.  Parental discretion is advised.

Facebook wallTonight a friend of mine on Facebook shared a video that she thought was disgusting.  I’m not sure why she shared the video, but I watched it to see what the outrage was about.  What I saw was absolutely disgusting.  The video depicts a young woman who has her hands tied behind her back while sitting on her knees.  A man in a mask is holding her hair.  [Stop now if you are not an adult or are sensitive.]  The man begins to cut the woman’s throat.  He repeatedly moves around her neck with the knife slashing and cutting.  Eventually, he cuts through her entire neck and removes her head.  In the end, he holds her head up for the camera to see.

This is not the first beheading video I’ve seen, I’ve seen videos of terrorists beheading people in the past.  It literally turns my stomach.  The fact that people further this garbage by sharing it online is just as bad.  What really disgusts me is the response from Facebook in regards to the video.  At least one person I spoke with about the video said they immediately reported it to Facebook as graphic violence.  She received a response from Facebook shortly after she reported the video and here is their response:

Facebook Response 1

This is incredible.  According to Facebook, a video of a woman being beheaded does not violate their policy against videos depicting graphic violence?  Seriously?  Beheading a woman doesn’t violate your policy, but a woman breastfeeding does?  I can’t say that the video is real, but I also can’t say it’s fake.  Either way, it depicts extremely graphic violence.  Remember that this video is out there for children as young as 13 to watch.  And, let’s be honest, there are plenty of children under 13 on Facebook as well.

I checked Facebook community standards to determine why they say it doesn’t violate their policy.  This is the policy:

“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.”

The fact that the person that posted it posed the question about whether this guy belongs in jail or not makes no difference.  This video does not belong on a social networking site.  The person whom I spoke with received her response shortly after 7 p.m. est this evening.  As of 10:45 p.m. est the video is still available.  I have chosen not to share a link or the video because we at TACD are not interested in perpetuating the glorification of this type of violence.  A screenshot of the video (before the graphic violence which we will not show) is below.

Graphic Image 2Many of the comments on the video are from people who are disgusted that it is on Facebook.  Multiple questions have been posed as to how it has not been removed.  Some people said that the video made them physically ill.  At this time, Facebook has not responded to requests for comment about the video and their refusal to remove it.  Updates will be published as they are available.

Dislike

Find more details on Dean Spencer’s blog The Evolution of Reason

Update 4/27/13 – 1:21 am

According to the person who posted the video, it was posted because he believes the police should see the video and he wants the person who committed the act to be brought to justice.  When asked if he believed the video to be real, he said that he believes it is.  His understanding is that someone in the victim’s family didn’t pay a debt to the killer on time so he found a family member to punish.  When confronted with the fact that the video can be viewed by under-age children, the poster said that they could see this on the internet regardless of whether he posted it.  His final message about the video…”justice should come into this”.

Update 4/30/13 – 3:22 pm

There has still not been any response from Facebook about the video or their refusal to remove it.  Some readers have expressed a desire for something to be done to get the video removed.  If we have seen anything in the last few years, it is the power of the people on social media.  One visitor to this article posted on my blog offered a petition that has been started to get the video removed:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/remove-violent-decapitation-terrorist-threat-videos-off-facebook-for-good.html

Others have mentioned forwarding the article to the mainstream media and Facebook public relations.  I encourage anyone who wants to work at this to share the story.  If it is picked up by major news outlets it may illicit a real response from Facebook.  Copy the address below and email to them, post it on their Facebook and Twitter pages, and sign the petition.  Force Facebook to acknowledge the people and give us a real response.

http://tacdnews.com/2013/04/27/facebooks-refusal-to-shut-down-video-of-womans-murder-disgusts-public-graphic-adult-content/

Update 5/2/13 11:28 pm:

Sorry to be late to the party on the update.  In case you haven’t heard, Facebook made a sudden reversal of its position and has decided to remove the video and others like it.  The BBC reported that they issued a statement on their original decision to leave the video up:

“People are sharing this video on Facebook to condemn it. Just as TV news programmes often show upsetting images of atrocities, people can share upsetting videos on Facebook to raise awareness of actions or causes. While this video is shocking, our approach is designed to preserve people’s rights to describe, depict and comment on the world in which we live.”

Eventually, they relented.  This was partially due to pressure from outside organizations.  At least one member of Facebook’s safety advisory board was also appalled by the video.  Here is the statement they issued on the removal of the videos:

“We will remove instances of these videos that are reported to us while we evaluate our policy and approach to this type of content.”

The problem I have is that Facebook was not proactive enough to understand that you don’t have to show this kind of graphic violence to condemn it.  I will condemn rape with every breath I have, but I don’t need to show a woman getting raped to do it.  They should also understand that people will share this kind of video to entertain themselves.  To avoid having their videos removed all they had to do was put a statement with it looking for condemnation.  According to their policy, I could have put any video of murder up with the tag “This is terrible!”

This shows a terrible lack of foresight on behalf of Facebook.  As the largest social networking site, they should understand that this kind of material is unacceptable, no matter what tag line the poster includes.  The fact that they know there are millions of children under the age of 13 on the site takes their refusal to act borderline negligent.

About Dean Spencer

Dean Spencer works as the technical manager for The American Complaint Department and is primarily a writer for The Liberal Complaint column. His articles can occasionally be found in the Arts and Entertainment and Sports Grill columns. Dean is also the host of TACD's Crossroads Radio on The American Complaint Department Radio Network.

Discussion

27 thoughts on “Facebook’s Refusal to Shut Down Video of Woman’s Murder Disgusts Public [Graphic adult content]

  1. I cant understand why some people think this is entertaining when it is horror at it’s best….Facebook should be reported to whatever company controls things shown on line. I myself, would not want to see anything like this. Thank you for letting us know this fact. I hope people will refuse to watch it but I think there is more curiosity seekers than anything else. How sad….

    Posted by Kandy Barnes | April 27, 2013, 2:25 am
  2. This disgusts me. I also reported the video 3 times and they refused to take it down. Facebook has been doing a horrible job lately at filtering their videos.

    Posted by Jim Meyer | April 27, 2013, 2:28 pm
  3. I also reported this video when I had seen this earlier this evening (to my deepest discussed) I also received the same comment from FB, I’m very upset about this utterly discontent for another person’s life and the level of violence that FB allows on an international site where there is no age restriction. This is promotion of extreme violence at its best and totally unacceptable! Is this what we are teaching our children?

    Posted by Antjie | April 27, 2013, 5:31 pm
  4. I’ve also reported this video, to be told that it does not have any graphic content???
    Could facebook please explain what they mean by graphic, as it really should not be on here as
    children have access to this kind of videos!!
    This is the reply I got from them:-
    Thanks for your report. We reviewed the video you reported, but found it doesn’t violate Facebook’s Community Standard on graphic violence, which includes depicting harm to someone or something, threats to the public’s safety, or theft and vandalism

    Posted by Christine Taylor | April 27, 2013, 5:43 pm
  5. I reported as well….

    Posted by Kim | April 28, 2013, 2:23 am
  6. Omg I don’t think I will be the same again. How missed up that I had to see this. Now right, I can’t stop crying. Plz remove this video. I am so sick in the stomach

    Posted by Michelle | April 28, 2013, 7:19 am
  7. I reported too and got the same message. I was absolutely furious with their response. How can the mediators be so blind and lazy. For gods sake I could do a better job than they could! I have not and will not watch the video but whilst i was at work my colleagues watched with disgust. I had to walk out, feeling sick to my stomach and terrified of the world i live in. I thought I was going to pass out. When i got home and saw the screenshot of the video on my news feed i immediately reported it. The day a woman’s horrific, excruciating death is put up on a so called “friendly” social networking site that apparently has safety as its top priority is the day i lose faith in human kind. Even wild animals aren’t as evil as those murderers. Imagine your child or little sibling viewing it. They could think it is acceptable behavior. it could give them ideas and prompt them to watch other videos like it and eventually begin practicing such things. OR the video could simply scar them as im sure it has many already.

    Posted by Emilee | April 28, 2013, 3:46 pm
  8. This made me sick. I can’t sleep without seeing this in my head. If it affected me a child will be messed up for life.

    Posted by Lisa W | April 29, 2013, 4:21 am
  9. I know dozens who have reported this multiple times. The thing that infuriates me is that I had a friend who had posted some very tasteful, non-detailed pics of a woman nursing a baby – Facebook TOOK THEM DOWN. We’ve got to do something…

    Posted by Leslee Lightener | April 30, 2013, 1:50 am
  10. I tried to track down forwarded the story to CNN and The Sun in the UK – whilst Facebook are happy to ignore us ‘proles’ hopefully the old school media can bring some weight to this.

    Alternately, this guy, WIll Castleberry (see below link) is Director of Public Policy at Facebook.
    I think this needs to be brought to his attention
    http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=15038804&authType=name&authToken=EilQ&trk=prof-sb-browse_map-name

    If I can get an email address I will mail him myself, but if any of your are US based, maybe just call their HQ and simply ask for him, old school style to notify him of the furore building over this?

    I cannot believe he is not aware of this issue, but I suspect they are using an auto response engine to the complaints, they must get so many, and maybe no human is actually seeing this video to make a judgement call?
    All the responses I have seen are scripted and identical, so I think they are automated:

    Posted by La La | April 30, 2013, 3:20 pm
  11. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21090488
    Craig Slee jailed for posting beheading videos on Facebook
    How can one man be jailed but this video be accepted

    Posted by Erin | May 1, 2013, 6:06 am
  12. Please get this video removed i was physically sick & cannot erase the images out of my mind, i regret ever clicking on this i wish i could take it back – it dosnt matter what you do no human should ever have to suffer an ugly fate like this young woman did, its sick & evil to the core mate..!!

    Posted by Girl-from-nz | May 1, 2013, 6:56 am
  13. Sick, really. Even more revolting that this can barely get any MSM attention.

    Posted by Mandrake | May 1, 2013, 10:34 am
  14. FB does not use real people to review complaints its uses a program. If the program does not recognize the content it does not go down no matter what. We have had this problem reporting child porn – especially videos. It is my understanding it does not scan the video itself but only the text with it. few complaints are forward to real people by some mechanism but it is not clear to me what that is. In my experience it seem to be in part generated by the number of complaints but just a guess.

    Posted by trashycat | May 2, 2013, 6:54 am
  15. I’m a police officer, so unfortunately am somewhat used to unpleasant sights. I found this video disturbing and it made me feel sick…but I’m more concerned about young adults and children in particular viewing this kind of material. It’s not acceptable and facebook should take responsibility so nothing of this type or similar imagery is accessible. My advice would be to remove children from having facebook accounts altogether.

    Posted by sam | May 2, 2013, 7:00 pm
  16. Talk with your pocketbooks, people. Delete your Facebook account and then their advertising dollars will dry up. If you continue to use Facebook, then you are just as guilty as the people who posted the video or committed the act itself.

    Posted by Bill Bobaggins | May 19, 2013, 11:02 pm
  17. If the video is upsetting and making ppl sick, then why are ppl dumb enough to click on it in the first place. Its not like the video is forcing you to watch it.

    Posted by Dana McFarland | May 26, 2013, 4:17 pm
  18. The same idiots voting to destroy your right to own weapons and defend yourselves are the same out of touch morons who want to let 11 million of these savage dick weeds become Americans just so they can lower wages.

    Posted by John Rambo | June 20, 2013, 10:41 pm
  19. I’d just like to inform everyone that this video is still on facebook. I’ve only just seen it on my newsfeed for the first time and googled why these videos are on there, and came across this post. I can’t even express how sick I feel and I refused to watch it. I’ve seen something similar in the past also on Facebook and spent the entire day at college mortified and feeling unwell. Considering how many children have access to this site nowadays I am repulsed by the Facebook team’s refusal to take action.

    Posted by Lucy Elizabeth | October 15, 2013, 5:52 pm
  20. I have just seen this video for the very first ti because my cousin had shared it on his Facebook page. I’m surprised that it is even still up for this has been up since April and it is now October. I have reported the video to Facebook and I’m still waiting for a reply back. Videos like these should not be posted on Facebook.

    Posted by Vanessa | October 17, 2013, 1:35 pm
  21. I almost ran into a comma when I stumbled on this video, till now I still feel like I should have an erase to permanently remove it from my memory, I feel sick each time I remember it. Please bring this and similar videos down. Lets stop polluting the hearts of our children and teenagers. This is one of the reasons we have cases of teenagers finding themselves in unthinkable vices as taking lives. Please lets save the future of these young generation coming up.

    Posted by Peter | October 22, 2013, 11:58 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Facebook Takes Down Beheading Video | YouViewed/Editorial - May 2, 2013

  2. Pingback: Facebook Finally Removes Controversial Graphic Murder Videos | The American Complaint Department - May 2, 2013

  3. Pingback: The story of a feminist take-over of a Facebook page | Feminist at Sea - May 4, 2013

  4. Pingback: Yes, @Facebook, it IS graphic violence | Life Out of a Box - May 28, 2013

  5. Pingback: Croatian goes on trial for Mexican woman’s brutal murder | Mexican Tourism - May 28, 2013

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