Facebook has begun removing a now-viral drawing of a cop’s throat being slit from some users’ accounts while it’s being allowed to remain on others’ pages, the company tells The Daily Caller.
The graphic image began circulating on the social media site — as well as Twitter — earlier this week after the police-involved shootings of two black men. The picture, which is a picture of a painting by an artist named Cepeda Brunson, bears resemblance to the disturbing video footage of ISIS members cutting the throats of Western hostages released in recent years.
WARNING: EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE BELOW
In the picture, a cloaked figure is shown cutting a kneeling police officer’s throat, with blood pouring out of the open wound.
On Saturday, The Daily Mail reported that Facebook was refusing to take down the image. After one user reported the image’s appearance on the Black Panther Party of Mississippi’s Facebook page, the company said it would allow the content to remain on its site.
“We reviewed the post you reported for promoting graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards,” Facebook responded to the user, The Daily Mail reported.
A similar response was provided to a Facebook user who reported Brunson’s post of his painting on that platform.
Brunson’s painting has since been removed from his Facebook page. It is also absent from the Black Panther Party of Mississippi’s page.
It does remain on Brunson’s Twitter account. The painter added a comment to the image which reads “American Freedom Fighter R.I.P. #AltonSterling.”
Sterling was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police Tuesday outside of a convenience store.
The painting sparked outrage on social media after it was published. But it took on new significance Thursday night after 25-year-old Micah X. Johnson killed five police officers in Dallas during a protest over Sterling’s killing and that of Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota.
Johnson, who was killed during a standoff with police, embraced the black liberation ideology of the Black Panther party and other radical groups. He reportedly told police negotiators before his death that he had wanted to kill white people, especially white cops.
While Facebook has started removing the blood-curdling image from some users’ accounts, it remains on others.
That’s because the company is allowing the drawing to remain on a users’ page if it is shared in a way that condemns violence and has text explicitly condemning violence, Facebook spokeswoman Andrea Saul told TheDC on Sunday.
If it is shared as a call to action against police — or if it is shared without commentary — it is removed, she said.
Saul said that the decision to remove the image is made on a case-by-case basis and by employees of the company, not by computer algorithm.
She declined to comment on the company’s internal deliberations on the issue or the timeline of those discussions.
Twitter did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment about its decision to not remove Brunson’s painting.
— Cepeda Brunson (@paintingsbypeda) July 6, 2016