A few years ago we had a discussion at work on whether we should screen material containing extreme violence, showing beheadings of western hostages by terrorists in Iraq (I use the word terrorist, as I refuse the euphemistic, politically correct “activists” to describe murderers). My initial approach was to screen all the material, as broadcasters would make the final decision on whether to use the material in their bulletins, based on their editorial policy. In fact, after a discussion, there was a unanimous decision not to use this type of video (in effect, screening the beginning, but removing the actual beheading scenes) as the material could not be used on air in Europe. One of the reasons cited was the chance to expose staff to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as they were obliged to handle the video. Usually PTSD is associated with soldiers exposed to extreme stress in combat, but it can also occur in people exposed to violent situations, even through video. We are talking about professionals who cover all sorts of events, some of them very stressful – what kind of psychological consequences can we expect for people far less prepared and supported, particularly the young? I think that Facebook’s banning of nudity and allowing extreme violence in the name of “freedom of expression” is a profound perversion of that freedom – akin to much of what is going on in the Middle East and the US at the moment. Let’s face it – even pornography is one of the expressions of love for other humans, even if a shoddy one, while depictions of violence are just expressions of pure hatred, designed to breed more hatred and killings. So we hand a very large loudspeaker to terrorists, while we ban sexuality. I am glad that I don’t have to live in that type of society.