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Facebook stirs up controversy over video posts

Many Facebook users are wondering where the line should be drawn when it comes to what should and should not be posted when it comes to content on the social media outlet.

One of the biggest advantages of social media is that people can share any variety of content with their peers from pictures to articles to video. Most of the time, this content is rather mild-mannered as many popular posts simply share songs or funny internet articles. However, recent posts with a clip filmed in Mexico have alarmed critics on both sides of the free speech debate.

Beheading videos surface
The BBC reported that in May, videos had begun to surface on the social media outlet that depicted a masked man decapitating a woman, which most believe was filmed in Mexico. While some people chose to disseminate the video, others believe that it was too inappropriate to be shown on such a popular source.

Following the posts and subsequent complaints, Facebook introduced a temporary ban on the content, but has recently lifted the limitation, according to the news source. For some, this is an important move for internet freedom and the free sharing of web materials, while others believe that the move could result in the more harm than good.

One former psychologist told the news source that the material could leave lasting and damaging impacts on the minds of young people who use the site.

Making the decision
Bloomberg Businessweek explored the reason behind the reversal in policy. When the company initially let the video remain posted, it argued on grounds that were similar to those of a journalistic free speech defense. Facebook explained that the content in question was being shared to be condemned in the same way that a TV broadcast would display images of atrocities.

After the company reversed its decision for the second time (allowing the content again to be disseminated), a spokeswoman said that Facebook has been a place where people "share their experiences," making it an important forum for issues with regard to human rights abuses and other violent acts.

Since then, the company has said that it would remove posts of users who improperly glorify the violence that is depicted in the video.

The constant swinging back and forth on the issue is indicative of how complicated these issues can get on such a large and widely used forum like Facebook. The Bloomberg piece argues that Facebook in particular has a long way to go before it can truly be supportive of internet freedom.

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