Bloomberg News

Facebook Tightens Rules on Sharing Violent Content on Website

October 23, 2013

Facebook tightens rules

With more than a billion users on the site, Facebook is adding features to encourage greater interaction among members, while trying to maintain some control over what gets shared. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. (FB:US) is tightening restrictions on graphic content, altering its rules after a recent video on the site of a beheading incited an uproar.

“When we review content that is reported to us, we will take a more holistic look at the context surrounding a violent image or video,” the Menlo Park, California-based company said yesterday on its website. Facebook said it “will remove content that celebrates violence.”

Facebook will also consider whether the person posting the content is being responsible by only sharing with age-appropriate users and by providing a warning alongside the clip.

The company came under fire after the BBC reported Facebook users were showing a violent video that included a beheading earlier this week. Facebook said it has re-examined some recent graphic images and taken them down.

“It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on his Twitter account following the reports. “They must explain their actions to worried parents.”

With more than a billion users on the site, Facebook is adding features to encourage greater interaction among members, while trying to maintain some control over what gets shared.

The company has already put in place some restrictions on content, such as videos posted for “sadistic pleasure,” Facebook said. Users can still share clips that are “of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism, and other violence,” the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net


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