Facebook posts warnings about violent videos
Social network to give heads-up where content might 'shock, offend or upset'
Facebook has introduced warning messages over videos and photos which it deems to contain graphic images of violence that could "shock, offend and upset".
The alerts, which have been rolling out since December, prevent the videos from automatically playing in news feeds unless they are clicked, unlike other clips.
"When people share things on Facebook, we expect that they will share it responsibly, including choosing who will see that content," said a Facebook spokesperson. "We also ask that people warn their audience about what they are about to see if it includes graphic violence. In instances when people report graphic content to us that should include warnings or is not appropriate for people under the age of 18, we may add a warning for adults and prevent young people from viewing the content."
The warnings apply to graphic material reported to the firm by its users that is judged to have been posted in an irresponsible manner.
The site's terms specifically stipulate that content "shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate or glorify violence" is banned.
The move follows pressure from both Facebook's internal and external safety advisors after graphic videos posted by terror groups showing beheadings of hostages and shocking propaganda were shown to users under 18 years old.
The social network has also announced this week that it plans to use its estimated 140m daily users in the US to help track missing children through emergency alerts.
Facebook has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to immediately begin sending AMBER Alerts, including photographs and other details, to the news feeds of users in targeted search areas.