Screenshot of Liveleak's homepage
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Founder(s)||Various Co-Founders including Hayden Hewitt|
|Slogan(s)||Redefining The Media|
|Alexa rank||767 (June 2015[update])|
|Launched||October 31, 2006|
LiveLeak is a UK-based video sharing website that lets users post and share videos. Founded in October 2006 by the team responsible for the Ogrish.com shock site, it aims to take reality footage, politics, war, and other world events and combine them with the power of citizen journalism. The site is estimated to be the 642nd most popular website in the world as of July 2014.
The site went live on October 31, 2006.
The site has sparked much controversy, 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.
On July 30, 2007, the BBC programme Panorama broadcast a show about how young people were getting physically assaulted and knocked unconscious. 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." 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.
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. Fitna was taken down after threats were made against LiveLeak staff, but (as of 2008) is back online after LiveLeak reportedly improved security. The video was once again removed on April 1, this time it was removed by the user citing that it was taken down due to copyright wrangles and a new version will be uploaded "soon."
A video of US journalist James Foley was posted by Islamist fighters on YouTube "but YouTube deleted it and demand for the LiveLeak version soared." In response to that video the leadership of the website declared that they would not host any "further beheadings carried out by IS." The website will continue to host the original video that depicts the aftermath of Foley's execution.
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