Facebook: Beheadings Now OK, but No Breasts

Ban on gore lifted, as long as acts are condemned

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 22, 2013 2:22 AM CDT | Updated Oct 22, 2013 3:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facebook users might want to brace for bloodier newsfeeds: The site has quietly dropped a ban on gory photos and videos, including those showing beheadings. Gory videos were temporarily banned earlier this year, but the policy has now changed again, the BBC found when investigating a complaint about Facebook's refusal to remove a page showing a masked man killing a woman. Facebook says videos and photographs of graphic violence are allowed—but only if they are posted for users to condemn the acts, not celebrate them.

"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," a spokesman explains. "People share videos of these events on Facebook to condemn them." The company says "sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited" and it is working on ways to warn users in advance about graphic material, reports Reuters. The company's ban on nudity, meanwhile, including any image showing a woman's "fully exposed breast," remains in place.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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