Facebook to allow users upload violent videos again

22 Oct 2013

Social networking giant Facebook is lifting a ban it imposed in May regarding users posting violent videos on the site. Users will now be able to upload such videos again, such as those showing people being decapitated.

BBC News reported that Facebook has confirmed the move to allow users to once again upload videos showing scenes of violence.

Last May, Facebook issued a ban on such video postings, but because the company continuously changes its privacy settings, such videos are being allowed again.

BBC reported a Facebook spokesperson as saying that people are sharing such videos to condemn them.

“If the video were being celebrated, or the actions in it encouraged, our approach would be different.”

The spokesperson went on to add that since some people “object” to graphic videos of this nature, Facebook will be working to give people “additional control” over the content they see.

“This may include warning them in advance that the image they are about to see contains graphic content.”

However, because of Facebook’s viral nature, such videos of violence could make it onto the news feeds of tweens and teens, for instance.

Reaction from cyber-psychology space

Dr Brendan Rooney is a psychologist at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland.

His main specialisation is in video and emotion. In reaction to Facebook’s choice to re-allow such decapitation videos be posted up on its digital platform, he had this to say:

“Violence is common on television with shows like Breaking Bad and Love/Hate.”

In these situations, he said the viewed violence can be entertaining as long as the video is fictional, or the viewer “sees it as fictional”, allowing the viewer to regulate their own emotional experience towards the scene.

“Real images of violence, however, and even those that are not real but presented as real, are disturbing and upsetting to viewers as they cause a more intense emotional effect that viewers find hard to regulate – ie deal with,” Rooney said.

Facebook IPO image via lev radin/Shutterstock.com

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic