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Facebook and the beheading video
Facebook suffered a worldwide backlash after it lifted its ban on displaying graphic images on its news feed. A video of a woman being beheaded began to appear and be shared across its feeds.
Facebook had said that videos containing graphic violence were permitted if the content was posted for users to condemn rather than celebrate the content.
However, after it received numerous complaints and widespread public condemnation, Facebook removed the video and updated its community guidelines.
Image: Digital Trends
Reddit and the Boston Marathon bomber suspect
The reddit community came together in in its efforts to find and name the Boston bombers who set off two bombs at the end of the Boston Marathon in 2013.
Redditors combed through photographs trying to identify the bomber, and one, the “blue robe guy”. Unfortunately redditors mistakenly named missing student Sunil Tripathi as a suspect. Erik Martin, general manager of reddit said:
"Some of the activity on reddit fuelled online witch hunts and dangerous speculation which spiraled into very negative consequences for innocent parties."
"The reddit staff and the millions of people on reddit around the world deeply regret that this happened. We hoped that the crowdsourced search for new information would not spark exactly this type of witch hunt. We were wrong.
The search for the bombers bore less resemblance to the types of vindictive internet witch hunts our no-personal-information rule was originally written for, but the outcome was no different."
Twitter and its response to abuse
Twitter has been slammed over failing to respond to abusive Tweets directed at some of its users. In the UK Isabella Sorley and John Nimmo were sent to jail after they sent abusive tweets to Caroline Criado-Perez during her campaign to get a woman's face onto a ten pound note.
The police often have to track down the abusers themselves as Twitter is reluctant to comply with requests for information.
Twitter’s transparency report shows that it does respond to requests for information by police forces arouod the world. The report has a worldwide average response to requests of 57 percent. The US has 69 percent of its requests responded to whereas the UK, despite issuing 25 requests had only 4 percent of these actioned.