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Liveleak logo
Type of site
Video sharing
Available in English
Founded 31 October 2006; 10 years ago (2006-10-31)[citation needed]
Headquarters London[citation needed], United Kingdom
Area served Worldwide
Owner Unknown
Created by Hayden Hewitt (co-founder)
Founder(s) Various Co-Founders including Hayden Hewitt[citation needed]
Slogan(s) Redefining The Media
Alexa rank Increase 966 (July 2016)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Optional
Current status Active[1]

LiveLeak is a video sharing website that lets users post and share videos. The site was founded on 31 October 2006,[2] it aims to take reality footage, politics, war, and other world events and combine them with the power of citizen journalism.[3][4] The site is estimated to be the 957th most popular website in the world as of May 2017.[1] Hayden Hewitt of Manchester is the only public member of LiveLeak’s founding team.[5]


Cockpit video showing a Hellfire missile being fired at two targets in Afghanistan.

Although by 2017 Liveleak has become little more than YouTube Junior, the site did spark some controversy up until around 2008, mostly due to its graphic and political content. The site came to prominence in 2007 following the unauthorized filming and leaking of the execution of Saddam Hussein, and was referred to by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.[6][7]

On 30 July 2007, the BBC programme Panorama broadcast a show about how young people were getting physically assaulted and knocked unconscious.[8] 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."[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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 U.S. News & World Report, "YouTube deleted it and demand for the LiveLeak version soared."[12] In response to that video the leadership of the website declared that they would not host any "further beheadings carried out by IS."[13][5] The website will continue to host the original video that depicts the aftermath of Foley's execution.


"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.[14]


On 24 March 2014, LiveLeak and Ruptly announced a content partnership.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  2. ^ Damn, a year already?, October 31, 2007
  3. ^ "Interview with Hayden Hewitt, Co-Founder of". Archived from the original on 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  4. ^ "Blair and Bush’s latest weapon of war: YouTube". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  5. ^ a b James Cook (November 7, 2014). "Q&A: The Man Behind LiveLeak, The Islamic State's Favourite Site For Beheading Videos". Business Insider Australia. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  6. ^ "White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, plugs LiveLeak". Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Tony Blair Plugs LiveLeak". Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Panorama: Children's Fight Club". BBC. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  9. ^ "Web child fight videos criticised". BBC. 2007-07-29. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  10. ^ "Hayden Hewitts Response After the Panorama Show". Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  11. ^ "LiveLeak, bias, and the eternal quest for personal accountability". Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  12. ^ "LiveLeak Bans Islamic State Beheading Videos After James Foley Murder". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2014-08-24. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  13. ^ "Statement From Liveleak Regarding IS Beheading Videos which might be upcoming". 2014-08-21. Retrieved 2015-08-28. 
  14. ^ "LiveLeak". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  15. ^ Ruptly. "Ruptly Video News Agency and announce content partnership". 

External links[edit]