Quoted: on decapitation videos on Facebook

“You’ve just got to consider: Would this go out on daytime television news? I don’t think it would, even with a warning saying this is something you may want to avoid. It crosses a line.”

— Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, on videos of decapitations that had been uploaded to Facebook. The social network initially refused to take them down, reportedly saying, “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.” But Facebook changed its mind and will delete the videos, which are thought to have been filmed in Mexico and first began appearing on the site last week, according to the BBC. It was just the latest test for the “Deciders,” the people who deal with speech and censorship issues at Facebook and other tech companies. In this case, many of the critics who complained about the beheading videos were child-safety advocates.


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