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February 19, 2019

Facebook to allow graphic, violent posts deemed newsworthy

A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye. /REUTERS /REUTERS
A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye. /REUTERS /REUTERS

Facebook has relaxed its censorship rules for graphic posts deemed to be for public interest following intense criticism over removal of newsworthy posts. 

This could mean that videos deemed potentially disturbing to some people will be allowed to remain on the world's top social network. 

Vice presidents Joel Kaplan and Justin Osofsky said they were going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy or important.

They said in a statement that will be the case even if they might violate Facebook's standards. 

 The company recently came under fire for censoring a breast cancer awareness video and the Vietnam war - Napalm girl - photo.

The image was reinstated after the editor of Norway's largest newspaper Aftenposten lammed Mark Zuckerberg for not recognising his role as "the world's most powerful editor". 

"An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography," said Zuckerberg. 

"In this case, we recognise the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time."

A video clip was also posted by the Swedish Cancer Society, of animated women with pink circles representing their breasts, to explain checking for suspicious lumps.

The company reinstated the clip, as it did with Philando Castile's live video shooting. 

Facebook said it would introduce "new tools and approaches to enforcement" that allow sensitive images and videos to be posted to the site if they are of public interest.


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