back to article Facebook: Yeah, we'll ban chainsaw beheading vids - when journos call us

Facebook has agreed to ban a bloody and disturbing video of two men being decapitated with a chainsaw and a second vid depicting a woman being beheaded by a masked man - after initially refusing to ban the clips. The social network appears to have experienced this change of heart after it was contacted by journalists. A …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do people watch things like this? Seriously some sick people out there.

    1. AndrewH

      "Why do people watch things like this? Seriously some sick people out there."

      Probably the majority watch it out of morbid curiosity, and then wish they hadn't.

      1. SamuraiMark

        Did this a couple times myself. Still get quesy just thinking about it.

      2. Triggerfish

        I can understand maybe someone clicking on it out of curiosity, it the 3000 likes I find disturbing.

  2. Jimboom

    Why are police not knocking on this guys door?

    Surely posting that constitutes some sort of evidence in a murder case? Unless they don't count such things as worthy of police attention in Malaysia.

    But agreed. Pretty f'ing sick bastards whoever watched that and "liked" it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are police not knocking on this guys door?

      It doesn't make it evidently clear in the Reg article, but the BBC article on this implies that both videos came from Mexico, basically some crazy shit that the cartels are doing over there. I don't think the guy who posted it was personally involved, though he is guilty of being a bit of a sick freak to think that worthy of 'sharing'.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Why are police not knocking on this guys door?

        I don't think the guy who posted it was personally involved, though he is guilty of being a bit of a sick freak to think that worthy of 'sharing'

        He could be that. Or he could be someone who wants to bring to wider attention the brutality happening in Mexico due to the American 'War on Drugs'. How many people worldwide were aware that people are being beheaded in Mexico before this 'sick freak' sparked this discussion?

        Where should this footage be discussed? Are social networks only for talking about nice things, looking at pictures of cats and casual sex (not with the cats)? Why does everything in the world need to be Disney or censored?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why are police not knocking on this guys door?

          Thanks for playing Devil's advocate, I feel really silly for implying that there may have been anything wrong with the sort of person who would share videos of decapitations on youtube and also with the many thousands of people who 'liked' the video.

          Oh, also the drug violence in Mexico is pretty well known about, maybe you've been spending too much time on

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are police not knocking on this guys door?

      I'm familiar with the video. The first few seconds were shown on a documentary about the Zetas, a Mexican drug gang. That was disturbing enough. I sympathize with those who were unfortunate to see the video through to its horrid conclusion.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nipples: no

    Brutal, sickening murder: yes

    Welcome to American cultural values.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      AC has used the n-word - behead him publicly!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The n word.. Nagger?

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Indeed ...

      Facebook's policy might look inconsistent to us, and it may be internally inconsistent, but it is entirely consistent with Hollywood mores.

    3. SamuraiMark

      "Traditional Family Values"

  4. Matt_payne666

    I have often been classed as a cynic....

    Facebook is driven by advertising and publicity...

    there is no such thing as bad publicity...

    A photo of a woman brestfeeding/post surgery/artistic/etc - all tremendously mundane...

    A video of ultra violence on the other hand, this will create media interest, this will create morbid curiosity, this will create page visits... page visits = advertising income....

    Common decency and moral values? these were left by the door long ago.

  5. Suburban Inmate
    Thumb Up

    This article is also worth a mention

    Remember that FarceBook is a business, and moderation costs money, and costs are bad mmmkay. Just enough moderation to look like they take things seriously is an investment.

    I'm also reminded of the recent farce regarding Scriptonite Daily* allegedly due to some moron at a dole office, who then proudly boasted of getting it censored. I have a mental image of a middle aged spinster with two dozen feline companions...


    1. Steven Raith
      Thumb Up

      Re: This article is also worth a mention

      The comments on that post are also well worth reading - 'Joy' goes into a bit more detail on a few notes and delivers some fantastic ripostes to trolls and numpties.

  6. g e

    Presumably they didn't take it down

    Because they get a cut of the £1.47

    Need a middle-finger icon entitled 'Won't someone think of the shareholders'

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Mostly_Harmless

    I fail to understand

    In what way is a video of someone being beheaded with a chainsaw not "depicting harm to someone"?

    1. David Webb

      Re: I fail to understand

      The person was not a topless female. Had the person in the video been a topless female then FB would have removed it.

      Jack Nicolson said it best, in the US movie industry if you chop off a females breast with a knife it's rated PG, show that females breast and it's 18. It's sick, it's wrong, FB should have removed the videos as any right thinking country would have laws that would make watching such stuff illegal and most of us really don't want to break the law (and if that video appeared on my FB the person who watched it would very quickly be removed from my FB friends)

      1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

        Laws? Really?

        Laws that forbid watching that stuff? Well... I certainly wouldn't watch it but laws that prohibit watching anything are a bit too censorist for me, thanks.

        (And please don't mention the p word. Let the police hunt down the sickos who create those images...)

        If we are to have censorship, I do applaud your position that the nipple/nudity censorship should be switched with censorship on violence.

        I'll go sulk in my corner now.

  9. Tom_

    Why does anyone even bother with facebook any more?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why did anyone even bother with facebook in the first place?

  10. Yet Another Commentard

    I can't work out from the article if...

    These are "fake" or "real". The word "depict", at least to me, has an implication of some form of fiction.

    Not that it should make any difference to the takedown one way or the other, I'm just a little confused.

    I'm also intrigued to see if by commenting or reposting such abominable filth the users are "publishing" it, and committing an offence under the Obscene Publications Act.

    Hideous, just hideous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I can't work out from the article if...

      They're real, and they're not recent. And they're nothing your kids haven't seen in Texas Chainsaw Massacre LXIV (or Jason's vacation, or Freddy's appendectomy...)

      I was going to post what you just did, so I'll just recommend everyone watch the nightly news about the latest war in Whocaresland where you'll be warned that what you're about to see may not be appropriate for those with standards.

      Is this really any different than the Vietnam war era pictures of executions.

      1. ukgnome

        Re: I can't work out from the article if...

        Is this really any different than the Vietnam war era pictures of executions?

        Erm, yes it's totally different - this is SOCIAL media, not ANTI-SOCIAL media.

        Social = relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can't work out from the article if...

        >And they're nothing your kids haven't seen in Texas Chainsaw Massacre LXIV

        Being able to tell themselves that it is just special effects makes a big difference as to how the viewer feels afterwards.

        There was a Japanese made video showing the vivisection of a young woman, released in such a way as to give little clue as to its origin... it turned out to be an exercise in special effects to drum up business for the crew involved.

  11. LyleS


    Anyone got a link to the video?

  12. jonfr

    The same social network

    This is the same social network that bans naked people on sight. I find it odd that Facebook has no issues with murder videos that can be found online being put up on Facebook, no, I do not view this videos. I know they exist and that is good enough reason for me to stay away from them. I also hate seeing people getting killed.

    I prefer nude over blood and murder every day of the week. But Facebook just wants to show you the murder and blood. Not the nude people, who are in fact not killing anyone and quite happily alive.

  13. nuked

    This brings about a much wider question regarding censorship. When you start, where do you stop, and who decides what is offensive and what isn't?

    Not that I'm sticking up for Facebook, but people are likely to complain in equal number if they were to try and impose their own moral/political/religious views on their worldwide population of users.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sick bastard reporting in

    This and others have been knocking around reddit for ages, as a snuff movie I would have thought it would have been banned without question but apparently snuff is fine these days*, it's nakedness we need to guard against.

    Regarding the footage in question, the men seemed pretty brave to me, and it was relativly quick compared to other methods the cartels use.

    I appear to be pretty desensitised to this stuff now, whereas a few years ago the sight of real blood would have made me feel faint, I think the turning point was when I saw my wife's guts immediately after they had delivered our baby via caesarian, that really moved the goalposts.

    * Wife is sick in bed right now and for no particular reason I googled 'Whatever happened to baby Jane', turns out it was first released in the UK as an R with cuts, then re-released as an 18, now it's a 12A. I suspect by the time my boy is my age he'll be telling his kids about how they used to have content warnings on shows and you had to be so old to see some things, and they'll be like 'fuck off pops, can't you see we're playing stabber?'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sick bastard reporting in

      You, sir, are correct, except that it's not a snuff film, it's historically significant video imagery.

      This reminds me of the line from "Clear and Present Danger" by Tom Clancy where the news cameras watched as the president boarded Marine 1 and watched it take off. The footage of the takeoff wouldn't be televised, but in case it exploded in mid-air, or crashed, they wanted to have the cameras rolling.

    2. Zmodem

      Re: Sick bastard reporting in

      theres 100s and 1000s and all iraqi kidnaps on and

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook Standards?

    Ye Olde Face-Booke Emporium

    Purveyors of the Finest Snuff *, for the Delight and Delectation of the discerning palate.

    [* For a modest consideration : we require no coin of the Realm, merely an infinitessimal portion of your own Immortal Soul.]

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    In other NEWS....

    ...utter crap found on Internet.

  17. Dramoth
    Thumb Down

    One of the guys I worked with a long time ago download a bunch of videos depicting this sort of thing. He was one very sick individual

    1. yosemite
      Thumb Down

      I wonder if you worked at the same place I did?

      My two fellow "workers" thought it hilarious to watch a poor retch behind beheaded. I rapidly decided I never wanted to speak or hang out with these guys ever again. I just don't understand how any reasonable person would be anything except sickened when they witness such brutality.

  18. Tom 13

    Re: but a child could see this.

    I haven't reviewed the T&C for FB recently, but IIRC they specifically exclude children. If you are the parent or guardian taking your kid into the R movie, I don't have a lot of sympathy for you if kid sees something he or she shouldn't.

    As to the video itself, assuming the posters above are correct that it is about a real life event, I'd say the context in which it was posted is pretty important. If it was mostly "Cool!" or "You gotta see this!" then yes, those persons probably need to be removed from the gene pool as expeditiously as possible. If on the other hand it was in the context of raising awareness and attempting to stop further atrocities it is valid public commentary. I'd say the same thing if it were a fictional depiction, which is frankly where I do have an issue with Freddy and his cohorts. I know I'm not a the firmest of ground there since I like Action movies and chopped suey flicks, but I am particular about the initial reluctance to fight, the build up of intolerable events, and the bad guy getting his just deserts at the end of the film.

    1. pigor

      Re: but a child could see this.

      Internet is not a completely passive media like TV.

      Even on facebook, the user has to actively click to watch a video... if there was enough text around it to know it contained shocking imagery, then the users watching it should not be surprised by being shocked.

      1. Shaha Alam

        Re: but a child could see this.

        What if the wording around the video (if indeed there is any) says "cool" "check this out" or "lols"?

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: but a child could see this.

      I haven't reviewed the T&C for FB recently, but IIRC they specifically exclude children.

      A policy which they enforce with all the enthusiasm and zeal that they apply to enforcing their posted material standards, I think you'll find. i.e. they'll ban the odd account if some newspaper or politician complains.

      Anyone know any children who aren't on Faceberk?

  19. Shaha Alam

    It should definitely have been taken off facebook immediately after it was brought to their attention. You simply can't have this kind of material in common circulation, easily getting into the hands of young people.

    Having said that, there's something to be said about seeing it for the sheer horrific reality of it. it's not unique and such acts of extreme violence are perpetrated around the world by gangs, criminals, and sadly, governments. more worryingly (at least it should be to anyone with a conscience) some of those acts of violence are perpetrated directly or indirectly by people and agents funded by our tax money and/or at the will of our governments and corporations.

    perhaps the sight of such gruesome violence is what we need to sit up and demand an end to it. everywhere. for everyone. starting with the ones we control and then moving on to the ones we don't.

  20. Stevie Silver badge


    Maybe if there was a concerted effort in the public memespace to get the nickname "Snuffbook" into everyday use....

  21. Bunglebear

    Echoes of Hot Coffee

    I seem to recall the same odd view from the Americans regarding the Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto, if you remember the hoohah about that. It got the game switched to an R rating in the USA. When the BBFC were approached about it their paraphrased response was "We gave the game an 18 rating based on the drugs and violence aspects. A bit of consensual sex will not change that".

    Its all topsy turvy when a bit of flesh (still attached I hasten to add) is censored more heavily than horrifying violence.

  22. Alan Potter 1

    Clearly this should have been removed by facebook instantly - there is no excuse for leaving it available.

    However, at the risk of asking something a bit bland when the subject matter is so horrific, why did you go to the Everyday Sexism Project for comment? It is clearly a sexist organisation and one that I would have expected any competent journalist to avoid.

    The first sentence on its website shows that it is sexist: "The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis". Not by people, but by women.

    Sounds like a project to be avoided.

    1. Bronny

      Alan Potter is clearly a sexist commentard

      "It is clearly a sexist organisation and one that I would have expected any competent journalist to avoid"

      Oh boy, where to start. You can tell a sexist organisation by its name now? And reporting examples of sexism is now sexist? If you had a heart (or even a brain!) you'd read further down their weboage and see the heartbreaking stories of women of all ages being groped and abused and screwed over, every single day, just as the name suggests. Why not give it a try before sharing your daft assumptions?

      Perhaps the reason El Reg asked them for comment is that they have been trying to take on FB as well, pointing out that all the big names ads are appearing on to pages promoting/supporting rape and that have horrific videos of women being abused. But that's being sexist right?

      1. Alan Potter 1

        Re: Alan Potter is clearly a sexist commentard

        >promoting/supporting rape and that have horrific videos of

        >women being abused. But that's being sexist right?

        Actually, yes. I don't want there to be horrific videos of ANYBODY being abused.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alan Potter is clearly a sexist commentard

          I know, those bloody women looking after their own interests, so selfish and sexist. After all, they are telling FB to remove the "behead the women videos" and "raping women is good" but keep up the "behead the men videos" and "raping men is okay" pages aren't they? Aren't they? No, that's right, they're not, so they are not being sexist. Everyday Sexism have an ongoing battle with FB because breastfeeding women are not considered socially acceptable but murder is, I take it that they are also being sexist for not fighting the good fight for breastfeeding men whose photos are not being censored?

          I'd assume you also think Fathers 4 Justice are also being sexist because they are looking after their own interests and ignoring the Mums? No, they are a group looking after their own interests, which happen to be based on their gender. That doesn't make it inherently sexist, you don't understand that do you? How about the RSPB - are they being birdist because they are only interested in their feathered friends even thought they aren't throwing the small furry animals into the woodchippers?

  23. bruceld


    I've been an FB member since 2007. For the past 8 months I've been losing interest in it and just generally stopped caring. I posted less and less pictures, less and less comments, and even less time bothering to read the feeds.

    The only thing I kept using was the Chat feature. Even with that, I already had those same people on my cell text list.

    Overtime I started to resent more and more knowing that my personal information on FB that I volunteer is no longer my own and is being farmed and mined and sold to large corporations for profit and I am not compensated. I also resent that my information is being claimed by one if the most profitable companies on the planet and is owned by some asperger guy who lacks social skills and does not understand how to relate to human beings.

    Why am I allowing myself to be used and sold without and compensation to me?

    I finally deleted everything that I've posted since 2007, I've deleted all of my photos, deleted all of my likes and comments on other people's pages, and I sent a message to everyone that I did care about that they can always text me when they need me. I then deleted all users from my contacts. Finally I deleted all chats, archives and logs. I will shut down the account completely as soon as I know everyone has received my last message.

    I got tired of asperger Marks ignorant privacy policy changes, how he sells and profits from my personal data, I've gotten extremely annoyed with the new targeted/recommended ad system, and his hypocrisy towards breast feeding mothers and art and beheading videos. He'd probably change his policy if someone posted a video of his girlfriend getting beheaded.

    I'm refusing to help make a 20-something old an even wealthier billionaire. I will never use another FB product ever again. I am surviving just fine without it.

    Enough is enough!

  24. reno79

    I've seen the first mentioned video (not via facebook directly, but through a friend on fb). Quite frankly, it made me feel sick to the stomach, regardless of whether it's real or not. It was graphic enough to me, and I have watched a lot of the recent torture films like all the saw films and hostels.

    Stuff like this does not belong on a social media website. I see absolutely no reason for it to remain there apart from to garner more advertising revenue on their site from page impressions.

    And that to me is almost as disgusting as the video itself.

  25. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down


    Now you've made me watch what can only be described as a not a very professional beheading. Yuck. No like for that.

  26. Zmodem

    it might be offensive if its real life, every thing else you have seen in a jason movie

  27. gap

    No nudity but gruesome murder footage is ok?!

    Providing the video is real / authentic, it obviously constitutes evidence of a crime. You'd think FaceBook would be reporting it to police when it was brought to their attention.

    The thing that really puzzles me is why Americans (in general) get so offended by basic nudity, which everyone sees on a daily basis and are our own bodies, but is completely non-plused by even the most extreme violence. e.g. removing breast feeding imagery but being perfectly ok with the most gruesome murder videos.

    Now there is a company that lacks a moral compass or any values.

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