Facebook has decided to allow its users to post video footage of beheadings to their feeds, reversing a temporary ban on such content.
It was a highly controversial decision, but not one without caveats. See, if you’re going to post footage of a beheading, you have to condemn and shame it, not celebrate it. Additionally, images that “glorify” violence will still be outlawed.
You could argue that regardless of the nature of the content, this is a huge win for freedom of speech and expression. But this just seems really arbitrary to me. Facebook is actually putting forth a proper way to post beheading videos here. Let that sink in.
And though I’m on the heartless and twisted Libertarian side of the issue (behead and boob me to your heart’s content), there’s also the censorship side to consider. British Prime Minister David Cameron, for one, brings up a good point about beheading videos:
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
Yeah, remember? Facebook allows children as young as 13 to join the site now.
Facebook did release a statement in which they admitted that content warnings are something that they’re currently mulling.
“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events. People share videos of these events on Facebook to condemn them.”
So to recap: Beheading is totes cool now, but keep your boobies in your sweater.