Facebook is to allow videos of decapitation to return to the site, the BBC reports. Poor David Cameron has felt compelled to condemn the move, of course. And he’s right to. Cue screeching from the usual suspects about free speech and how the Prime Minister “doesn’t understand the internet”.
I’m sorry, but if “understanding the internet” means giving sickos who get off on grotesque pictures and video more gore porn to jack off to, forgive me if I too opt for ignorance.
Because the internet’s beheading fetishists (yes, it’s a thing) will be pleased that alongside photos of bar mitzvahs and invitations to birthday lunches, Facebook users can now share videos of Mexican drug cartel murders and freakish automobile accidents.
Is Facebook really the place for such content? Shouldn’t we leave it to languish on password-protected forums and obscure message boards, where it belongs? Let’s remember that this isn’t some weird fluke: it’s a decision by Facebook to explicitly allow this content on its network.
Silicon Valley can be remarkably prudish when it comes to nudity – Apple famously so, but Facebook too bans nudity and topless photos – yet throw in a bit of politics, in this case Mexican gang executions, and suddenly the likes of Facebook feel they have a duty to share this stuff with the world.
I can’t tell you what’s wrong with people who actively seek out such material. But if you’re a media commentator who is arguing today for the right to see people’s heads chopped off on the internet, may I gently suggest you get your own head tested? You know, just to make sure it’s still there.