Facebook Declines to Remove Violent, Anti-Police Cartoon

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Free speech and social media policies collide as protests flare

Center for Security Policy Executive Vice President Jim Hanson on a viral photo that could have violated one of Facebook’s policies.

Social media giant Facebook is refusing to take down a graphic, anti-police cartoon, according to a report by the Daily Mail, saying the image doesn’t violate its “Community Standards.”

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The cartoon, posted to a Black Panthers page, depicts a man dressed in black cutting the throat of a policeman while blood flows out of the officer's neck.

“It stayed up for multiple days and they [Facebook] received multiple complaints,” Jim Hanson, executive vice president at the Center for Security Policy, told the FOX Business Network’s Deirdre Bolton. “The issue is… whether it’s graphic or not, it supports terrorism. The iconography was a cop having his throat slit in the same way that ISIS has been doing this.”

He also said by allowing the photo to remain on the website, Facebook went against its own rules.

“This is essentially a call for terrorist violence against police and Facebook knew about it for days and let it stay up there, in violation of their own policy against allowing terror-supporting stuff on their site,” he said.

Although Facebook already has a policy to limit or remove posts like the graphic cartoon from the site, Hanson said the company should follow its guidelines more closely to prevent threatening and disturbing images from reaching its users.

“At some level they [Facebook] have to take responsibility for creating an environment where inciting violence is allowed,” he said. “They don’t allow it for ISIS or other terrorist groups; they shouldn’t allow it for anyone calling for acts like that.”