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Liveleak logo july 2014.png
Type of site
Video sharing
Founded31 October 2006; 13 years ago (2006-10-31)[2][3]
United Kingdom[5]
Area servedWorldwide
Created byHayden Hewitt (co-founder)
Founder(s)Various co-founders including Hayden Hewitt[4]
Alexa rankDecrease 2,138 (June 2019)[1]
Current statusActive[1]

LiveLeak is a 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.[4] LiveLeak aims to take reality footage, politics, war, and other world events and combine them with the power of citizen journalism.[7][8] Hayden Hewitt of Manchester is the only public member of LiveLeak's founding team.[4]


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

Featured videos often involve graphic content of fatal accidents or shootings. Although by 2016, Liveleak had reduced its controversial content, the site frequently sparked up controversy up until around 2008, mostly due to its graphic and political content. The site came to prominence in 2007 following the unauthorised filming and leaking of the execution of Saddam Hussein, and was referred to by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair.[9][10]

On 30 July 2007, the BBC program Panorama broadcast a show about how young people were getting physically assaulted and knocked unconscious.[11] When Panorama queried the "extremely violent videos" that had been posted to LiveLeak's website, co-founder Hayden Hewitt refused to take them down, stating, "Look all this is happening, this is real life, this is going on, we're going to show it."[12] LiveLeak states there are relatively few such videos on the site and should the uploaders be found to have participated in the violent attack or filmed it themselves, it would aid the police with any prosecutions.[13]

LiveLeak was again in the spotlight in March 2008, when it hosted the anti-Quran film Fitna made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. LiveLeak holds to being strictly non-biased in its approach to members and their content, believing in freedom of speech within the site rules, regardless of how certain content might offend them personally.[14] Fitna was taken down after threats were made against LiveLeak staff, but was back online on 30 March 2008 after LiveLeak reportedly improved security. The video was once again removed two days later on 1 April this time it was removed by the user citing that it was taken down due to copyright wrangles and a new version would be uploaded "soon."

A video of US journalist James Foley was posted by Islamist fighters on YouTube before, as reported by US News & World Report, "YouTube deleted it and demand for the LiveLeak version soared."[15] In response to that video the leadership of the website declared that they would not host any "further beheadings carried out by IS."[16][4] The website will continue to host the original video that depicts the aftermath of Foley's execution.

On 31 March 2019, Australian telecom Telstra denied access to millions of Australians to the websites 4chan, 8chan, Zero Hedge, and LiveLeak as a reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings.[17]


"YourSay" is a section of the website where users upload their own videos, much like a vlog. Unlike YouTube, the vlogs on LiveLeak are more political and are known for debate.

LiveLeak currently has multiple categories including Syria and Ukraine, in which graphic content regarding various conflicts can be viewed.[18]


On 24 March 2014, LiveLeak and Ruptly announced a content partnership.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c d 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.
  5. ^ "Company Overview of LiveLeak". Bloomberg. S&P Global Market Intelligence. Retrieved 21 August 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. ^ "White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, plugs LiveLeak". Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Tony Blair 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. ^ "Hayden Hewitts Response After the Panorama Show". Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  14. ^ "LiveLeak, bias, and the eternal quest for personal accountability". Archived from the original on 1 April 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  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. ^ "LiveLeak". Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  19. ^ Ruptly. "Ruptly Video News Agency and announce content partnership".

External links[edit]