Type of site
|Founded||31 October 2006|
|Dissolved||5 May 2021|
|Founder(s)||Various co-founders including Hayden Hewitt|
(redirects to www
LiveLeak was a British 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 aimed to freely host real footage of politics, war, and many other world events and to encourage and foster a culture of citizen journalism.
It was shut down on 5 May 2021. The URL was changed to redirect to ItemFix, another video sharing site.
LiveLeak first came to prominence in 2007 following the filming and leaking of the execution of Saddam Hussein. This, among others, earned the site a mention from White House Press Secretary Tony Snow as the likely place to see updates or stories from active American soldiers.
On 30 July 2007, the BBC programme Panorama broadcast a show on how street violence between children as young as 11 was being posted on websites including LiveLeak. When Panorama queried the "extremely violent videos" that were posted to LiveLeak's website, co-founder Hayden Hewitt refused to take them all down, stating: "Look, all this is happening, this is real life, and this is going on, and we're going to have to show it."
LiveLeak was again in the spotlight in March, 2008, when it was hosting the anti-Quran film Fitna made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Fitna was taken down for 48 hours as personal threats against Hewitt, the only public representative of the site, peaked. The re-post date was 30 March 2008 after arrangements for Hewitt's family and safety had been improved. However, the video was soon removed again over a copyright claim.
On 24 March 2014, LiveLeak and Ruptly announced a content partnership.
On 19 August 2014, a video depicting the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley was posted by Islamic State terrorists on YouTube and other sites. When it was reported on by U.S. News & World Report, YouTube and Facebook deleted all related footage and implemented bans, demand increased for LiveLeak's footage as they currently allowed this. In response to the James Foley video, Hewitt posted that LiveLeak's content policy had been updated to ban all beheading footage produced by the Islamic State. The website continued to host the original video that depicted the aftermath of Foley's execution for its historical relevance as it did not depict the beheading itself.
On 30 March 2019, Australian telecom Telstra denied millions of Australians access to websites 4chan, 8chan, Voat, Zero Hedge, and LiveLeak as a response to the video of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand spreading. LiveLeak responded that they didn't carry the video and were removing uploads of it. The ISPs in question didn't respond.
At the beginning of June 2020, LiveLeak temporarily disabled users' ability to log into the website, and it also only suggested videos from other sources, such as YouTube or Dailymotion. After 14 June 2020, it became possible to log into the website and view LiveLeak's hosted videos again. Those who did not want to log in to LiveLeak would only see suggested videos that were hosted by YouTube, Dailymotion and VK.
On 5 May 2021, the LiveLeak website shut down, with site visitors being redirected to ItemFix.com, a website that bans users from uploading media containing “excessive violence or gory content”.
The website [Ogrish.com] was incorporated into LiveLeak.com on 31 October 2006