British Prime Minster David Cameron has condemned Facebook after the social networking site lifted its ban on people posting beheadings.
Facebook introduced a temporary ban on videos showing beheadings in May following complaints that the footage could cause long-term psychological harm.
“It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos,
especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to
worried parents,” the Prime Minster said on his Twitter page.
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
Facebook said Monday that it was reversing a decision on the grounds that the site is used to share information about world events, which might include terrorist attacks or rights abuses.
"People are sharing this video on Facebook to condemn it. If the video were being celebrated, or the actions in it encouraged, our approach would be different,” the company said in a statement cited by AFP.
Facebook added that due to the objections, they are working to give people additional control over the content they see, including warnings about graphic content.
“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,” the statement added.
Facebook acted to disable the videos of people having their heads chopped off, after the Family Online Safety Institute complained that they crossed a red line. The site had received a number of complaints from users after a video was posted of a woman being decapitated by a Mexican drug cartel.
The US-based website’s terms and conditions page, however, still denounces "photos or videos that glorify violence," and says that posts containing nudity, drug use, or other graphic content are prohibited.
More than a billion people use Facebook every month and anyone over thirteen can join. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and four other students from Harvard.