Can You See Decapitations on Facebook?
Now that Facebook has decided it's totally acceptable to post a video of a beheading, the social network says it's working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across violent content they might see.
Facebook banned beheading videos in May but lifted the prohibition six months later. An issue emerged in April after a gruesome video of a woman being beheaded by a Mexican drug cartel was posted on Facebook. Following user outcry, Facebook sent a response saying the video did not violate the company's community standards on graphic violence.
The controversy illustrates the difficulty of setting a universal standard across the Facebook community. Currently, it's OK to post a video of a brutal decapitation, but it's NOT OK to post a photo of a mother breastfeeding her child.
So should Facebook allow for freedom of information or protect the eyes of its 1 billion-users, many of whom are very young? While Facebook figures itself out, here are some tips you can use to declutter your Newsfeed so you don't have to see things you don't want (via LifeHacker):
- Unfriend or Unsubscribe from people you don't care for. Chances are, you're not BFFs with all 800 people on your Friend list, nor are you interested in looking at more photos of their Costa Rican vacation. Simply toggle "unsubscribe" or if you're more ruthless, cut them off completely.
- Move friends from "Close Friends" to "Acquaintances." Facebook lets you determine who you actually care about. Head to your friend list and check off who belongs to which category. Simply put, get fewer updates from people you're not interested in.
- Filter posts with an outside app. Social Fixer is an advanced filtering tool that allows you to filter out certain words like "Spoiler" or "Vote" from certain friends, TV/movie advertisements, or political posts.
- Block posts from specific apps or pages. You might love Candy Crush but you don't need to read about your buddies' every single move. Facebook lets you hide stories -- just hover over the arrow on the offending post and click “Hide.” You can also download Adblock Plus.
UPDATE: Facebook has since "re-examined" the issue and removed the beheading video in question, deciding that it "improperly and irresponsibly glorifies violence." The company also vowed to "strengthen the enforcement" of policies on graphic content, and remove posts that celebrate violence, taking into account whether they are being shared "responsibly."