Facebook relents, pulls down video of baby being swung around

5 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Exclusive: Woman behind viral ‘child abuse’ video on Facebook speaks to Independent.ie.

The woman claiming to be behind the viral Facebook video of a child being abused reached out to Independent.ie to explain why she posted the video on social media. Hilliard claims she was sent the video from an anonymous person in the Philippines following mass media coverage of an investigation ‘No Longer Victims’ were conducting there in relation to another abuse case.

Its U.K. policy director, Simon Milner, told BBC Radio 4 that since the video “is being shared to draw attention to and to condemn what’s happening and ideally to try and help this child then yes, there is a place for it on Facebook.” By contrast, “If it was being shared to praise it or make fun of it then absolutely not and in cases like that we will take it down.” Facebook has added a warning message before the video, but critics say that is not enough. The video shows a crying baby being plunged into a bucket of water but while Facebook initially described it as “baby yoga”, pracitioners dismissed the suggestion and the NSPCC condemned it as child abuse. The U.K.’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says that social media sites like Facebook should be “held to account for the content on their sites and pay more attention to their safeguarding duties to protect children and young people, whether they are viewing the content or appearing in it.” Milner says Facebook has been in contact with the authorities who are hoping to find the child depicted in the video, and that in the past, sharing content like this on the Internet “can and does lead to the rescue of the child.”

The NSPCC has called on the Government to make social media companies more proactive in preventing users posting inappropriate images or videos of children online. Its letter to culture minister Ed Vaizey and internet safety minister Joanna Shields appealed to them to make sure people in the UK are “no longer exposed to this kind of dreadful and disturbing content”. His cry is that of a newborn, and there is no way he’d be able to support that swinging for that long. “Like others, we find the behaviour in this video upsetting and disturbing. The two-minute long clip shows a chatting woman putting the screaming baby into water while swinging it around by its limbs – even hanging it upside down – before shaking it.

A spokesperson for Facebook initially said: “We do not allow child abuse on Facebook and any illegal content which is flagged to us is quickly removed. “Whilst we understand that people may be upset by this video which depicts a form of baby yoga, after careful review we found it does not break our rules.” Sylvie Russell, the executive manager for Birthlight, which runs baby yoga classes dismissed this suggestion. In cases where people are raising awareness or condemning the practice, we are marking reported videos as disturbing, which means they have a warning screen and are accessible only to people over the age of 18.” After watching the video she said: “It’s quite sickening – this is not baby yoga”. “We use gentle movements, it’s all about bonding between the mum and the baby and it is difficult to see any bond or love in the video,” she said.

She said: “I’ve spoken to people with medical training and they said, when the baby goes quiet towards the end, it could have suffered something called hyperextension – the neck could have been stretched so much that the baby suffocated.

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