UK & World News
Facebook Allows Return Of Beheading Videos
Facebook is once again allowing users to post videos of extreme violence following a temporary ban in May.
The company now says such videos are permitted, providing users condemn the acts rather than celebrate them.
The company said: "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.
"If they were being celebrated, or the actions in them encouraged, our approach would be different."
The U-turn comes after the site deleted videos depicting real murders while it evaluated its policy on violence following complaints about a video of a woman being beheaded by a Mexican drug cartel.
Users who complained were sent a response claiming the one-minute film did not breach the company's policy on violence.
The statement said: "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.
"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."
Growing anger about the response led to the temporary ban, which has now been overturned.
Facebook said violent content would now only be removed where there was a "genuine risk of physical harm".
"You may not credibly threaten others, or organise acts of real-world violence," it said.
"Organisations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site.
"We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism".
The company said it was also working on developing new ways to let users control what content they see, including advance warnings that particular images contain graphic violence.