We all know that the internet can be a place to express your views freely and allow your opinions to be known. But how much ‘freedom of speech’ is too much?
You can probably guess where this is going.
Over the last few months Facebook has become a popular way to share videos so much so that my news feed often looks the same as a Youtube home page. Most videos that come up on my home page are humorous, you know like dogs riding bicycles, girls burning their hair off with curling tongs, and I enjoy watching them. But occasionally videos appear that are definitely not humorous. In fact they are not even humane. A video that depicts a human being killed should not be on the internet, let alone on a popular social network such as Facebook for anyone to see.
A ban on such videos in May was, what I thought, the end of the situation. But no. The ban turned out to be only temporary and Facebook have since declared that they think their viewers should be free to post and watch any videos that they want. They also said that the site should be used to spread information about world events. While this may seem plausible, it does not explain how these videos are acceptable.
The first time I came across one of these videos, I naively thought it was an error and so reported it to Facebook, expecting that it would be taken down immediately. This however was not the case. I received a reply that stated the video in question, a tribe burning men (who were believed to be witches) alive, did not violate any of their terms and conditions. What? A video that shows people being attacked, abused and murdered does not break any guidelines and is allowed to be on the website for the public to see?
In my opinion this is wholly irresponsible of Facebook to allow this content onto their sight. And as stated by David Cameron “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents”. At the time of writing this, Facebook have said that they are reviewing their policies and some of the videos have been taken down, and the remaining ones contain a warning about ‘graphic’ and ‘upsetting’ content. It does not appear that this issue is going to be completely resolved any time soon, so just be careful which videos you watch.