The popular video-hosting website LiveLeak announced Thursday it will ban users from posting footage of Islamic State beheadings.
LiveLeak, known for hosting grisly, primary-source material unavailable at traditional news sites, made the decision after receiving an explosion in traffic as Internet users sought footage of the jihadi group beheading American journalist James Foley.
A video of Foley’s murder was posted online Tuesday, but YouTube deleted it and demand for the LiveLeak version soared.
The video, believed to be filmed in eastern Syria, shows the journalist stoically reading a statement that blames his death on U.S. bombing raids in northern Iraq before he's killed by a knife-wielding fanatic. The full decapitation process isn’t shown.
Hayden Hewitt, a co-founder of LiveLeak who lives in the U.K., tells U.S. News the site's new policy isn’t a response to Scotland Yard's warning.
“Showing the videos in the context we do would have been perfectly within the law as we would never allow a user to frame them in a manner which would be seen as supportive of the IS cause," he says. "Add to that LiveLeak is not a U.K.-based company [and] British law doesn't really affect us in a manner that would shape policy."
The site is officially based in the U.S.