Liveleak is a video service founded by Hayden Hewitt in 2006. The content is almost exclusively user-submitted videos and covers a wide range of topics from around the world. From people’s pets to Rex Tillerson’s trip to Asia. Liveleak lacks transparency as they do not disclose ownership.
Funded by / Ownership
Liveleak does not disclose ownership. Revenue is derived through advertising.
Analysis / Bias
In review, due to being a video sharing service, and the videos being presented as submitted, the content can be very graphic and controversial, such as when Liveleak hosted footage of the beheading of journalist James Foley by ISIS in 2014. Mr. Hewitt has defended the practice of presenting submitted footage as is, stating in his own words:
“Look all this is happening, this is real life, this is going on, and we’re going to show it.”
Liveleak also has a video content-sharing agreement with Ruptly, state-run Russia Today’s video service which is both right biased and questionable. While most of the content is apolitical we found many videos depicting Muslims negatively. They have also published false and misleading information as seen below in the fact checks. In general, the content of videos is mostly non-political, but there does appear to be a right-leaning bias when depicting Muslims.
Failed Fact Checks
- A photograph shows President Obama holding a rocket launcher in a car with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. – False
- A video shows the aftermath of a school prank in which a student spiked lemonade with laxatives. – False
- A video shows Muslim men auctioning off women on the streets of England. – False
- Did a Muslim refugee vandalize a statue of the Virgin Mary in Italy? – False
- A Saudi billionaire purchased Buford, Wyoming and is planning on constructing a western Mecca. – False
Overall, we rate Liveleak right-center biased and Questionable based on a lack of transparency with ownership, the use of poor sources, and numerous failed fact checks. (D. Kelley 3/16/2017) Updated (3/24/2021)