Heads will roll with Facebook’s new gruesome censorship policy

Facebook recently uplifted its ban on any graphic content that depicts violence posted on Facebook.

The ban emanated from a video posted in spring of this year that showed a woman being beheaded. The video quickly circulated newsfeeds and left many outraged who witnessed the disturbing video.

Since then Facebook has implemented several changes to its policy regarding the posting of violent content.

Users are now able to post violent content as long as “the intent is to raise awareness rather than celebrate violence,” according to an article by CNN.

Another change will include a new setting that warns users if the image or video that they are about to watch may contain graphic material, according to an article by the Washington Post.

The news of the change left many angered, but it left me applauding.

People are well within their institutionally-protected rights to post graphic content even without these changes. Now with these changes in place it only solidifies this right.

Users have the choice to click the play button and videos usually include a title and a thumbnail that foreshadow the content of the video, providing adequate warning. After that, it is a matter of relying on your own integrity to watch or not.

Unless someone repeatedly posts violent videos and images to send a message of intimidation or to mock people being beheaded, these videos and images should be allowed on Facebook for the purpose of educating others and providing news on what’s taking place around the world.

Many people displeased with the uplift claim that teens as young as 13 that frequent the site may unintentionally be exposed to such gruesome graphics, which can cause psychological harm.

At this point, it is up to the parents to educate their children on the potential dangers of using Facebook and to monitor their activities.

It is very hard to draw the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable free speech. That line gets much more convoluted when free speech involves media since it is still a relatively new ordeal in our society.

As long as this line is blurred, we should remain cautious in making a definitive decision on censoring graphic content on Facebook.

“When trying to draw the line about what should or shouldn’t be allowed, it is important to look at context, not just content,” according to a Washington Post article.

Another issue opponents of the uplift have is the discord between permitting violent content while upholding its ban on nudity, leaving many guessing just what graphic really means.

Facebook could be more consistent with this policy. But as far as violent videos and images go, they shouldn’t be banned without first looking at the bigger picture.

Not only do we have to consider the intentions of those who post graphic content when it comes to making a decision for censorship, but the freedom users have to simply not watch.

In any case, beheadings and images considered violent should not simply be taken at face value, but evaluated more in depth before censoring it.