'Shock Site' LiveLeak is Officially No More
It's the day we (and by we, I mean me and all of the other extremely squeamish people in the world) have all been waiting for – LiveLeak, the internet's home of extremely gory videos depicting murder, Isis beheadings, and other extremely graphic, acts of violence has been shut down.
"Fifteen years ago we felt the project we were working on had peaked and it was time to move on, LiveLeak was born," Hayden Hewitt, founder of the controversial site said in a farewell letter to LiveLeak's loyal followers. “Although it's an overused analogy the last fifteen years have been an insane rollercoaster for all involved. Highs, lows, and some rather worrying bits where it felt like we were upside down. The thing is, it's never been less than exhilarating, challenging and something we were all fully committed to. Nothing lasts forever though and – as we did all those years ago – we felt LiveLeak had achieved all that it could and it was time for us to try something new and exciting”
The end of a notable chapter of the world of “shock sites”, which according to The Verge, included websites like Rotten.com and BestGore that all shared the same apparent goal of grossing out their viewers, it seems the site's demise comes with the fact that not a lot of people want to spend their spare time cozying up with a bowl of popcorn and a queue of vile videos allegedly depicting beheaded or graphic content of children fighting each other. Whoda thunk?
"The world has changed a lot over these last few years, the Internet alongside it, and we as people," Hewitt continued. "I'm sat here now writing this with a mixture of sorrow because LL has been not just a website or business but a way of life for me and many of the guys but also genuine excitement at what's next."
So, what's next? Hewitt has opened another video-sharing platform in its place named ItemFix – this time, he says, sans the “excessive violence or gory content” that made the first site so infamous. "I hope some of you will enjoy ItemFix and find it useful and entertaining. It's something completely different, completely fresh, and something we feel energized about tackling and whilst I know many of you will be upset, possibly angry, about our decision I do hope you also understand our reasons and appreciate that, alongside you, we have walked together through some interesting times and some crazy ones. Sometimes it's just the right time to chart a new path."
Despite this concession, Hewitt is apparently still very nostalgic for a time when people watched extremely violent videos en masse. “Everything’s different now, everything moves on,” the founder said in a video further discussing the site's shutdown. “I don’t fucking like it. I liked it much better when it was the Wild West.”
Even so, he ended his note with a note for the rest of his fanbase – and those who were depicted losing their lives on the site. "To the members, the uploaders, the casual visitors, the trolls and the occasionally demented people who have been with us. You have been our constant companions and although we probably didn’t get to communicate too often you’re appreciated more than you realize,” he explained. “On a personal level you have fascinated and amused me with your content. Lastly, to those no longer with us. I still remember you.”