LiveLeak's reign of gory terror is over after 15 years

And it takes a large portion of the uncensored internet with it.

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Devindra Hardawar
May 7, 2021 10:50 AM
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LiveLeak, once the purveyor of horribly violent videos, was unceremoniously shut down this Wednesday. The site could be best described as YouTube's evil (and less popular) twin, the place where you'd go to find uncensored footage of humanity at its worst. It featured everything from local crimes to terrorist propaganda, like the ISIS beheading of journalist James Foley. In 2019, New Zealand blocked access to the site for hosting video of the Christchurch mass shooting. As The Verge reports, LiveLeak has been replaced with the far less racy ItemFix, a video sharing site that explicitly bans uploading gory or violent content.

"We felt LiveLeak had achieved all that it could and it was time for us to try something new and exciting," co-founder Hayden Hewitt wrote in a blog post. "The world has changed a lot over these last few years, the Internet alongside it, and we as people."

Without more detail, it's tough to pinpoint the exact reasoning for LiveLeak's demise. But it could just be that the initial concept for the site has run its course. LiveLeak was co-founded by the folks behind Ogrish, which also centered on displaying horrific imagery. Along with, it was part of an early generation of "shock" sites, the sort of places you'd go to see if you could stomach the human carnage of a car accident.

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Hewitt describes ItemFix as "something completely different, completely fresh, and something we feel energized about tackling." He added, "Sometimes it's just the right time to chart a new path."

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