Facebook has taken down two videos posted by ABC News programme Four Corners exposing the horrific abuse of teenage boys in a Northern Territory juvenile facility for containing child nudity. According to Sally Neighbour, the executive producer of Four Corners, the videos reportedly included a promotional clip and a "highlights package" of the show's Monday (25 July) night programme.
Revealing the abuse of teenage boys at Don Dale detention in Darwin, the videos posted on Monday included disturbing footage of forceful stripping, gassing, boys being held in isolation and a teenage boy strapped in a mechanical chair.
"Facebook has removed the videos of abuse of child detainees," Neighbour posted on Twitter on Tuesday. "Flabbergasted."
"These videos were reported to us by members of the Australian public and our community operations team promptly reviewed and removed them for containing child nudity," the spokesperson said. "Upon further review, we have restored one of the videos because it does not contain such imagery. We review millions of reports each week and from time to time we make a mistake and work to rectify this where we become aware of this."
"The second video does contain child nudity and so we cannot restore it. Our Community Standards do not allow any nudity of minors to be shared on our services, even if they are shared with the purpose of condemning it."
However, ABC News director Gaven Morris told HuffPost Australia that the videos, while incredibly brutal and disturbing, have been aired in the public interest and are "not gratuitous" in any way.
"ABC News gave careful consideration to publishing these images, which are evidence of the mistreatment of a child and not in any way gratuitous," Morris said. "We have expressed our concerns to Facebook about their handling of this matter."
After the programme was aired, Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull called for a Royal Commission to investigate the shocking treatment of children at the Don Dale centre, saying the footage aired was "shocking".
"We will get to the bottom of this swiftly and we will identify the lessons that need to be learned," Turnbull said, BuzzFeed reports. "We have here a very troubling state of affairs where clearly there has been mistreatment of young people."
The incident places the social media giant in the spotlight once again over its policies on sensitive material posted on its platform.
The recently broadcast Facebook Live videos of Philando Castile's fatal shooting and the Dallas shooting also raised several complex questions and issues regarding censorship and how it monitors and regulates graphic content on Facebook.