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Liveleak logo july 2014.png
Type of site
Video sharing
Founded31 October 2006; 14 years ago (2006-10-31)[1][2]
Dissolved5 May 2021; 5 days ago (2021-05-05)[3]
United Kingdom[4]
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)Various co-founders including Hayden Hewitt[5]

LiveLeak was a British video sharing website headquartered in London. The site was founded on 31 October 2006,[6] in part by the team behind the shock site which closed on the same day.[5] LiveLeak aimed to freely host real footage of politics, war, and many other world events and to encourage and foster a culture of citizen journalism.[7][8] Hayden Hewitt of Manchester is the only public member of LiveLeak's founding team.[5]

The site was shut down on 5 May 2021. The website currently redirects to ItemFix, another video sharing site.[9]


Cockpit video of a Hellfire missile being fired at targets in Afghanistan

LiveLeak first came to prominence in 2007 following the unauthorized filming and leaking of the execution of Saddam Hussein. This among others earned the site a mention from then White House Press Secretary Tony Snow as the likely place to see updates or stories from active soldiers.[10]

On 30 July 2007, the BBC program Panorama broadcast a show on how street violence between children as young as 11 was being posted on websites including LiveLeak.[11] When Panorama queried the "extremely violent videos" that were posted to LiveLeak's website, co-founder Hayden Hewitt refused to take them all down, stating: "Look, all this is happening, this is real life, and this is going on, and we're going to have to show it."[12]

LiveLeak was again in the spotlight in March 2008, when it was hosting the anti-Quran film Fitna made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. LiveLeak already held to being strictly non-biased in its approach to violent content, enshrining freedom of speech within the site rules, regardless of how certain content can offend.[13] Fitna was taken down for 48 hours as personal threats against Hewitt, the only public representative of the site, peaked. The re-post date was 30 March 2008 after arrangements for Hewitt's family and safety had been improved. However the video was soon removed again over a copyright claim.[5]

On 24 March 2014, LiveLeak and Ruptly announced a content partnership.[14]

On 19 August 2014 a video depicting the beheading of US journalist James Foley was posted by Islamic State terrorists on YouTube and other sites. When it was reported on by US News & World Report, YouTube and Facebook deleted all related footage and implemented bans, increasing demand for LiveLeak's footage as they currently allowed this.[15] In response to the James Foley video, Hewitt posted that LiveLeak's policy had been updated to ban all beheading footage produced by ISIS.[16][5] The website will continue to host the original video that depicted the aftermath of Foley's execution for its historical relevance as it does not depict the beheading itself.

On 30 March 2019, Australian telecom Telstra denied millions of Australians access to websites 4chan, 8chan, Voat, Zero Hedge, and LiveLeak as a response to the video of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand spreading.[17]

At the beginning of June 2020, LiveLeak was temporarily disabling the ability to log into the website, and it also only suggested videos from other sources, such as YouTube or Dailymotion. After 14 June 2020, it became possible to log into the website and view LiveLeak's hosted videos again. Those who didn't want to log in to LiveLeak would only see suggested videos that are hosted by YouTube, Dailymotion and

On 5 May 2021, the LiveLeak website closed, with site visitors being re-directed to[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roversi, Antonio (2008). Hate on the Net: Extremist Sites, Neo-fascism On-line, Electronic Jihad. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 8. ISBN 9780754672142. Retrieved 21 August 2017. The website [] was incorporated into on October 31 2006
  2. ^ Cook, James (7 November 2014). "Q&A: The Man Behind LiveLeak, The Islamic State's Favourite Site For Beheading Videos". Business Insider UK. Retrieved 21 August 2017. on Halloween 2006, Ogrish abruptly shut down, directing its users to visit a new video service: LiveLeak.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Company Overview of LiveLeak". Bloomberg. S&P Global Market Intelligence. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e James Cook (7 November 2014). "Q&A: The Man Behind LiveLeak, The Islamic State's Favourite Site For Beheading Videos". Business Insider Australia. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  6. ^ Damn, a year already?, 31 October 2007
  7. ^ "Interview with Hayden Hewitt, Co-Founder of". Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  8. ^ "Blair and Bush's latest weapon of war: YouTube". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  9. ^ Browne, Ed. "LiveLeak Shut Down, Replaced by Itemfix Video Site After 15 Years Online". Newsweek. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  10. ^ "White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, plugs LiveLeak". Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Panorama: Children's Fight Club". BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  12. ^ "Web child fight videos criticised". BBC. 29 July 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  13. ^ "LiveLeak, bias, and the eternal quest for personal accountability". Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  14. ^ Ruptly. "Ruptly Video News Agency and announce content partnership".
  15. ^ "LiveLeak Bans Islamic State Beheading Videos After James Foley Murder". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Statement From Liveleak Regarding IS Beheading Videos which might be upcoming". 21 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  17. ^ "4chan, 8chan, LiveLeak and Others Blocked by Australian Internet Companies over Mosque Massacre Video".
  18. ^ "ItemFix - Social Video Factory". Retrieved 10 May 2021.

External links[edit]