Facebook: You can do better than this!

I’m voting with my feet and cancelling my Facebook account; here’s why.

Like tens of thousands of other people, I use social media: Facebook, Linked-In and Twitter.  In my own case primarily for promoting my blog writings.

It was another blogger who drew my attention to something so terrible, so despicable, that it pains me to even think about it, let alone write about it.

Let me explain.

I subscribe to The Liberated Way published by Alex Jones.

Last Sunday, Alex published a post called Caring about animal welfare. Here’s a short extract:

For six months I have been experimenting with a Facebook account in order to stay in contact with the creative industry in my town of Colchester. This experiment came to an end today when I closed my Facebook account due to Facebook allowing content associated with the torture of animals.

The word torture, highlighted by me, included a link to an article in the UK Daily Mail newspaper.  The link to that Daily Mail article is here. BUT PLEASE do not click on that link if you are not prepared to be hurt, shocked and made to feel VERY ANGRY!  To reinforce my warning, the headline of that article reads thus:

Facebook refuses to remove video of kitten being doused in petrol and set on fire ‘because it doesn’t breach any rules’

I can’t even bring myself to include the two photographs of the poor, tortured kitten who was killed by the bastards concerned.  However, I will reproduce one image carried by the Daily Mail:

FB standards
Response: After reporting the video, which was not thought to have uploaded by either of the men in the video, and carries a warning message, Mr Dunwel was told the video would not be removed.

Facebook’s Community Standards may be read here.

But frankly any standards that regard the burning to death of a kitten as not being ‘graphic violence’ are incorrect standards.

So this coming Friday, I shall be cancelling my Facebook account.  Why not immediately?  Because my blog posts are themselves promoted on Facebook and I hope other Facebook subscribers who read today’s post  are motivated to do the same over the intervening three days.

If you are still uncertain of the merits of my action, and you have a very tough stomach, then the link to the video in question is here.

I have not watched the video for the simple reason that the details of the video were more than enough for me. These are those details:

Published on Sep 9, 2014
Cruel man douses kitten in full

Facebook has refused to take down a video of a kitten being covered in petrol and set on fire.

The web giant reportedly said the shocking footage does not breach any of its rules.

The footage shows two men pushing the animal into a bucket and pouring liquid on it.

The kitten is then set alight.

It can then be seen escaping from the bucket and running away still on fire.

The kitten rolls around in obvious distress but one of the men pours on more fuel as it burns.

When the flames are extinguished a plastic bag can be seen being placed over the animal.

The clip has caused disgust online, with thousands of Facebook commenting on it – but the social networking site has refused to take it down.

 

PLEASE, PLEASE if you are a Facebook user consider cancelling your account.

Our animals deserve our support.

I will close by asking Facebook to reconsider: Facebook you truly can do better than this.

And thank you Alex.

25 thoughts on “Facebook: You can do better than this!

  1. It makes me very happy I cancelled my personal FB account over a year ago, though I have two smaller ones for my blogs.

    What really makes me angry about this is that sometime before I cancelled my FB, a group against animal cruelty that I followed put up a couple of videos showing some horrendous treatment of animals by businesses in China and encouraged people not to buy any animal product from that country.

    As distasteful as the content was, those videos were informative and enlightening. FB removed them, citing them as violating site rules.

    I won’t bother clicking on the link you mentioned as the description is quite enough for me to know it was done out of depravity and not for information purposes.

    If it’s against FB’s policies to show disturbing content that was intended to inform, but not against their policies to show it for “entertainment” purposes, then it’s seriously hypocritical of them.

  2. A horrifying story, but one that needed to be written. This isn’t the first time Facebook has dragged its feet on harmful issues appearing on their pages. I can only assume it has something to do with advertising and profits derived. Then again, profit can and is used to justify anything and everything isn’t it? The food industry, for example, or war, pornography, freedom of speech, environmental destruction…

    I didn’t watch the video either, don’t need to carry more terrible images of animal abuse around in my head — they are the kind of images that never fade. I have a hard time understanding how these killers can justify taking their next breath. I will be passing your article around.

  3. I “like” for your worthy action Paul rather than the subject of the horrible fate of the kitten. I am unable to justify how a social media outlet like Facebook can host content of the torture of animals; it is neither of commercial value, or educational or in any way beneficial to advetisers or the users of Facebook; perhaps I missed something, but I am unable to see why Facebook is hosting such content. I have closed my account, I hope others use their “consumer” powers to send a message to Facebook by closing their own accounts. Thanks for dr

  4. Hi Paul, Thank God I didn’t see what you are talking about. I hadn’t been on Facebook for a long time due to eyesight problems, but got on it recently. Now I agree with you. That video must be disgusting! But where do you report it to Facebook? I tried to look up where to give an opinion on it, but ran into too many sites to look at, and my eyes don’t do well with that. Do you know of a site for telling Facebook about it? Hope all is well. Hi to Jean. Marcia

    The Hydrogen Lady

  5. Good for you kind sir. We cancelled our FB accounts LONG AGO, but this is reason number ONE in my opinion, along with the intrusions it represents and waste of time on so many levels. I would MUCH rather read your blog and click on some of the links you provide which take me to MORE ‘worlds’, worlds of joy and caring and compassion and intelligence. Thank you so much for sharing your compassionate world. Good wishes to you and your family. Glenda

    1. Glenda, I’m so sorry for the delay in replying. My tidy up of the office took longer than anticipated!!

      Your reply is wonderful and makes my writings so well worth while.

      Thank you seems insufficient but it is heartfelt, as I’m sure you know.

      Your kind wishes are returned in full.

  6. Wow. I am outraged. I am pretty active on Facebook, but I feel that we need to force FB to remove that video. I’m afraid cancelling our accounts won’t be enough. They’ll just post other videos. Do you know if anyone started a petition?

    1. Kate, first a big thank you for taking the trouble to add your feelings. Reading the full Daily Mail report will give you the most up-to-date news. The other thing that comes to mind is to share this post as far and wide as possible so that the maximum number of FB users are aware of the terrible double standards in play. If there are petitions, I’m not aware of them. Please add a further comment if you come across any. Best wishes, Paul.

  7. 1) I clicked on the link: nothing. So what’s the big huff?

    2) I am afraid all the people who ask for censorship are friends of Big Brother. What’s next, indeed? Each time a monk sets himself on fire, you will censor? If one had shown Auschwitz, you would have asked Facebook to withdraw the video?

    I would personally love it that all crimes be made into videos, and put on Facebook.

    For all the naïve out there, burning a kitten is actually a crime, a prosecuted activity. I do not know where the torture happened, but the perpetrator could be identified, and then prosecuted (say as he crosses a border). Certainly in many EU countries, and in the USA, he could be prosecuted. (Cats and dogs are protected by special laws.)

    More than 3,000 people have died from ebola exponentiating: time for adult subjects.

    Withdrawing that video from the Internet will just allow the perpetrator to escape justice more easily.

    BTW, I am all for full beheading videos to be shown (after appropriate and strong warnings).

    I am not an ostrich. And I cannot understand why ostriches would ask for more sand in the eyes.

    1. Patrice, I think you miss the point and that it is the inconsistencies of FB’s actions that are at the heart of so many complaints. If FB said that nothing would removed, that the most terrible events could be posted, then FB users would know where they stand.

      I am free to chose not to watch the video and to cancel my FB account.

      1. OK. So your point is that Facebook censors some things, and not others, and thus uses control about what they view as moral, and what not?
        Fine. It’s indeed intolerable. Yet, I have seen the New York Times do this since 2002. At least.

        I do agree that censorship policies ought to be public, and precise. Let me suggest this:
        Say a media is Christian, and announce they will censor anything that they view as NON Christian. Fine. But it should be made public that this particular media is biased. Also they would expose themselves to lawsuits for not respecting their mandate.

        Similarly, a media declared free of censorship ought to stick to that under the threat of criminal pursuit.

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