UK prime minister David Cameron has criticised a decision by Facebook to allow decapitation videos on its website.
The world’s largest online social network, with 1.15 billion members, said gory videos are allowed so long as they are posted in a manner that does not celebrate them.
But Cameron took to Twitter to condemn the move: “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.”
Facebook had earlier moved to defend its decision to lift a temporary ban on content with graphic violence.
“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events,” the company said in a statement.
“People share videos of these events on Facebook to condemn them. If they were being celebrated, or the actions in them encouraged, our approach would be different,” the statement added.
Facebook’s current community standards forbid users from posting information that is threatening to others, as well as content that includes hate speech or is sexually explicit.
Groups with a record of violence or criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on the site and Facebook says that “sharing any graphic content for sadistic pleasure is prohibited.”