A video of a helpless kitten being doused in gasoline has surfaced on Facebook, but despite multiple attempts to get it taken down, the social media site has so far refused.
The disturbing clip shows two men stuffing the tiny kitten into a bucket, pouring gasoline on top of it, and lighting it on fire. The video gets even more disturbing, as the kitten at one point manages to tip the bucket over to free itself as it’s completely caught on fire. The kitten runs away while rolling around the get the flames out, and eventually, the men wind up extinguishing the flames as the cat gasps for air. Just when it looks like it’s over, the men place a plastic bag around the kitten’s head.
Since the video was uploaded onto Facebook, many people have expressed their disgust and have even tried to get the video taken down. 23-year-old Kieran Dunwel of England says he tried to get the video removed, but Facebook has so far refused.
“I was going through Facebook and I saw this video,” said Dunwel. “I clicked on it, watched it and I was disgusted. I reported it to Facebook, it took five or six hours for them to get back to me, and they said it was perfectly fine to have it on there. It made me feel sick, I was angry, I tried to find a phone number to speak to them but I couldn't. I was outraged. My mum is a cat person and it would have killed her to see that. I'm a cat person. I've got two cats. This is just a kitten, it must only be about five or six weeks old and it has been brutally murdered.”
A lengthy response from Facebook explained why they decided not to take down the video.
“While we do not allow content that directly encourages violence, we try to create a safe environment that balances people's desire to express themselves and in some cases condemn what they see,” the response reads at one point. “Facebook's community standards say that graphic videos are shared on the site as a means of condemning the violence depicted, and raise awareness of instances of animal cruelty or atrocities committed worldwide.”
A Care2 petition has already been started online to get Facebook to remove the video.