News / USA

Violent Videos Need Self-Censorship, Expert Says

FILE - This photo shows a view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, it was working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across gruesome content on its website following an outcry over the discovery of beheading videos there. (AP Photo)FILE - This photo shows a view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, it was working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across gruesome content on its website following an outcry over the discovery of beheading videos there. (AP Photo)
x
FILE - This photo shows a view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, it was working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across gruesome content on its website following an outcry over the discovery of beheading videos there. (AP Photo)
FILE - This photo shows a view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook announced Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, it was working on new ways to keep users from stumbling across gruesome content on its website following an outcry over the discovery of beheading videos there. (AP Photo)
Susan Yackee
Facebook’s recent policy indecision over the posting of extremely violent videos has again exposed the larger debate over internet censorship versus free speech. 

One media strategist contends the best solution for establishing internet standards lies in self-censorship.

Susan Reynolds, whose Carmen Media consults with international businesses on social media strategy and marketing, says it’s up to each of us to help establish settings and determine what we want to see.

“When I think about the controversy, it reminds me that Facebook has become a community gathering place. And that brings up the whole issue of freedom -- the freedom to gather, the freedom of speech, freedom from censorship -- all of these things that Facebook is now facing having to make decisions about,” said Reynolds in an interview with the VOA news program International Edition.

The controversy has caused Facebook to waffle on its own policies and desire to become an internet censor. 

The debate was sparked by a video that appeared on Facebook back in May, showing a masked man beheading a woman.  When the video went viral, Facebook reacted to complaints by banning it and other beheading videos, calling them “psychologically damaging for young viewers.” 

After re-consideration, Facebook overturned a general ban on beheading videos, saying future decisions about the posting of potentially objectionable material would be made on a case-by-case basis.

Reynolds says Facebook would like to get out of the censorship business, and leave responsibility for user-generated content to the user.  

For the first time, Reynolds says she recently alerted Facebook to a photo she found objectionable.

“It was a picture of someone being tortured in the Middle East. Personally, I thought it was probably not a real depiction, a real photo, but perhaps something edited with Photoshop. And I didn’t think it belongs in our newsfeed, especially if it’s false. So I reported it,” said Reynolds.

What about those who won’t censor themselves or hold different values than us?  Would there be value in establishing a content ratings system akin to that found in the movie business? 

“Who would then be in charge of determining those ratings?,” said Reynolds. “This is not a top-down content provider. This is user generated content.” 

Reynolds concedes the process would be very difficult to manage and police.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid