This blog is going to be a quick one, something I just had to share with the world (totally notwithstanding the site stats, so to write).
I just read a disturbing piece of news wherein Facebook opted to retain videos of decapitation videos circulating in their website. They decided that they had to preserve the “freedom” of the individuals who uploaded the videos, and that the clips, which purportedly show people beheading other people, was meant as a warning,
Quoting Facebook’s statement verbatim,
While this video is shocking, our approach is designed to preserve people’s rights to describe, depict and comment on the world in which we live.
Of course, they did a volte-face once backlash ensued. There are such things that go beyond “crossing a line”. Circulating/Uploading videos of killing a person is one of them. I identify with the backlash very strongly because I was affected by one such incident during my college days. It was via e-mail from a friend, who sent me a link to a video plainly titled “Shocking!”. I opened the video to see something funny, instead it was the video of an obviously mentally ill person, standing atop a stationary train somewhere in India. He was shouting something, put his hands up, got a severe shock from the power lines above and burnt to death. The whole video was about only 2 minutes, but I cannot tell you how much I was psychologically affected for the next few months…
So, please, think twice, thrice, four times, before even contemplating about sending such links to other people. You cannot expect others to have the same macabre sense of humor as you do. It’s a pity, I know. But we all need to learn to live with that.
More on this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22368287