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Facebook hypocritically removes video

Bobby joe magers jr. , Opinion Writer
November 7, 2013
Filed under Opinion

A video of a lady getting her head chopped off appears on Facebook and everybody loses their minds. A skateboarder dislocates her knee socket in 12 places and the video gets featured on 10 different video streaming sites and Tosh.0. Here we go again.

The false and meaningless campaign by the Family Online Safety Institute and other insulting feel-good individuals, such as uninformed parents and political figures, focus on one event and ignore all others.

The issue does not, as those in power would like us to think, focus on protecting children from offensive content. It centers on allowing third parties to do what the government has no authority to do: censor.

The new attack on free speech began May 2013 when the beheading of a woman briefly appeared on Facebook, according to an article on phys.org, a science, technology and research news service. The video was quickly pulled.

However, Facebook had a change of heart Oct. 22 and reposted the video, and along with it, an updated uploading policy, according to phys.org. The next day, Facebook yanked the video and they changed their policy again.

The main argument for allowing the second attempt at posting the removal of the woman’s head on Facebook took a different approach at censorship.

Facebook claimed their website is a place for people to share experiences, especially when they’re controversial events, according to phys.org.

FOSI, of course, was the leader of the fight to take down the since-removed video. FOSI prides itself as a worldwide nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect the poor children from naughty content on the Internet, according to its website, fosi.org.

There is a healthy representation of several heavy hitters in the multitude of media platforms sitting on the board, including Facebook’s Director of Policy, EU, Richard Allen, as well as members of Sprint and Yahoo Inc., according to fosi.org. The intent of the organization seems blurred.

When Facebook reposted the beheading video, FOSI and UK Prime Minister David Cameron pounced, according to BBC News technology reporter Leo Kelion.

“It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without warning,” Cameron tweeted, according to Kelion. “They must explain their actions to worried parents.”

What a crock of bologna.

Besides the hypocrisy surrounding how the EU policy maker for Facebook, and current FOSI board member, Allen, has played the double devil’s advocate on this subject, other problems arise in this façade of concern.

Beheadings are inhumane, grotesque and unsavory. The practice has gone on for centuries and has made its way to the spotlight since 9/11, especially when a reporter became the poster child for video beheadings.

However, the idea that a video of a head being savagely removed from a torso crosses some blurry line of what is acceptable for children is laughable.

For the most part, to give something a rating of over-the-top, there has to be a standard for comparison.

After a simple 30-minute surf of the web, and a little motivation, that protected child will still find the beheading video posted on multiple websites.

Ironically, Facebook still allows other uploads of grotesque videos. Recently one made its rounds showing a man getting a huge zit popped with pus exploding from it.

Yet there is no public outcry or press conferences by FOSI to condemn it for being too traumatic for children. And what about the special TV and online shows dedicated to dislocated joints, broken bones and severe head injuries surrounding X-Games-type activities?

Under the blurry lines dictated by FOSI, these should also be removed from the Internet to protect the children.

Lastly, what about the Muslim children that might accidentally download a Christmas carol on Facebook, or a Jehovah’s Witness child catching a glimpse of a child’s Halloween party? These could arguably hurt a child’s psychological development as well, and might cause traumatic effects in their growth. Why aren’t they banned?

The point is clearer than the imaginary line drawn by the people and corporations depending on our money yet dictating what goes on the Internet.

Organizations like FOSI don’t represent anything more than an attempt to censor the Internet and, in turn, control what information is allowed to the general population. It has nothing to do with the children. Who gave them the right to raise our children?

If Facebook is not careful, eventually the groups they listen to when deciding what should be allowed on their site will conclude Facebook is too damaging to children, and then they too will disappear.

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