LiveLeak is a video sharing website headquartered in London. The site was founded on 31 October 2006, in part by the team behind the Ogrish.com shock site, which closed on the same day. LiveLeak aims to take reality footage, politics, war, and other world events and combine them with the power of citizen journalism. Hayden Hewitt of Manchester is the only public member of LiveLeak's founding team.
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.
On 30 July 2007, the BBC program 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 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." 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.
"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.
Comparison of video hosting services